Days after Karnataka’s mining baron and former BJP Minister Gali Janaradhan Reddy spent an estimated Rs 500 crore on his daughter’s “fat” wedding in the city on November 16, the Income Tax (IT) department asked Reddy to disclose the amounts he had incurred on various functions conducted during the pre-marriage, marriage and post-marriage, with the number of guests who attended them and the source of such expenditure.
“This is a statutory requirement with which you are legally bound to comply by November 25, 2016,” said the notice.
The lavish wedding, spanning five days, at the sprawling Bengaluru Palace grounds has stirred a hornets’ nest as it was performed when people were queuing up outside banks for cash after the November 8 demonetisation.
Also under the scanner are his in-laws and event managers who were signed up for various wedding-related services. These include priests, security guards and pandal suppliers.
The I-T department on Monday slapped a three-page notice on Reddy seeking details of all the expenses, including the source of income for his showy attire during the wedding.
Tax officials inspected event managers at seven locations in Bengaluru and three in Hyderabad. Reddy’s daughter’s five-day wedding grabbed headlines for its ostentatious display of wealth: LCD-screen invitation cards, recreation of the Vijayanagara empire by erecting massive sets on the 35-acre wedding venue, and a list of of 50,000 guests. The wedding took place within days of PM Narendra Modi declaring a war on black money by outlawing the use of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Tax department sources said :
“We’ve been gathering information for the past two months. We waited for the wedding to get over and have now issued a notice to him under Section 135 A (5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. He has been directed to reply before November 25.”
The 15-question notice was served on Reddy at his residences in Ballari and Bengaluru. The notice contains a list of items against which Reddy has to enter the amount spent.
The breakup must include the money spent on flowers and vegetables too. Tax sleuths have asked Reddy to submit the bills paid and contact numbers of the vendors.
Reddy is learnt to have said that he has spent Rs 35 crore on the wedding – a speck of the speculated Rs 200 crore-Rs 500 crore splurged on the wedding. However, reports said Reddy spent Rs 100 crore on his daughter Brahmini’s bridal dress and jewellery , Rs 20 crore each on food and the palatial setting of the Vijayanagara empire. The mining baron is said to have spent about Rs 200 crore on the wedding. The I-T department has sought details of preand post-marriage functions, the number of guests, details of credit and debit card transactions, and the money spent on return gifts.