Gupta sponsored gold-plated temple ceiling rejected in India

2018-05-07 18:53
Atul Gupta. (Supplied)

Atul Gupta. (Supplied)

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The installation of a gold-plated temple roof in India has been placed on hold after temple administrators discovered that the embattled Gupta brothers sponsored it.

The Times of India reported that the chairperson of the Badri-Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC), Ganesh Godiyal, had to stop the installation after it was revealed that the Gupta brothers paid for it.

The publication also reported that Godiyal informed it that the temple received a proposal from an unknown donor in May 2017, to replace the bronze-plated roof with a gold-plated one. It would later transpire that this proposal came from a member of the Gupta family.

READ: Gupta fight goes to Dubai

"Following this, we passed the proposal in our board meeting on November 27, 2017. The proposal was passed as the work was to be done through donation. Only recently, we discovered that the money was being donated by the Gupta brothers, who were behind a corruption scandal and the political turbulence in South Africa. I have asked that the work be stopped with immediate effect. I am also writing to the Enforcement Directorate for its opinion in the matter," Godiyal told Times of India.

Locally, several Gupta-linked businesses applied to be placed under business rescue as of February this year.

The business rescue practitioners have since been embroiled in several legal battles against both creditors and the very directors that applied for their appointment.

READ: Court orders business rescue practitioners be allowed back at Gupta-linked firms 

The latest of these challenges has seen the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ordering the directors of these companies to allow the business rescue practitioners access. This was after the business rescue practitioners were chased out and were forced to ask the courts to grant them access to the premises, where all the documents and accounting records were kept. 

The Gupta family has been out of the country since a raid on their Saxonwold home in Johannesburg, which led to the arrest of several of their associates on charges of corruption and money-laundering in respect of the Vrede dairy farm project. Attempts to have the members of the family answer questions by Parliament has been met with derision.

READ: Guptas say Eskom Inquiry 'political showboating' in lawyer's letter

As a result, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has approached its counterparts in Dubai to secure assets to the value of nearly R160m, allegedly obtained using funds made from their illicit activities in South Africa.

A senior prosecutor working on the case told News24 sister publication City Press that the NPA was confident that authorities in Dubai would co-operate.

Read more on:    india  |  gupta family

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