Darshan case: Police notify I-T dept of Rs 70-lakh seizure

‘The Challenging Star’, his female friend Pavithra Gowda and 15 others have been arrested for the murder of Chitradurga native Renukaswamy.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 22:15 IST

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Bengalur: Further trouble is brewing for Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeepa, with the Bengaluru police notifying the Income Tax Department about the large sum of money seized from the actor and his associate during a murder investigation. 

‘The Challenging Star’, his female friend Pavithra Gowda and 15 others have been arrested for the murder of Chitradurga native Renukaswamy.

A well-placed source in the city police told DH that the probe team had already informed the I-T officials about the money seizure. 

A senior source in the IT department said it was mandatory for investigating agencies to report seizures of Rs 10 lakh and above.

“If it’s below Rs 10 lakh, it is usually left to the respective departments to take a call. It is not mandatory as such,” the source told DH. “Next, a statement would be recorded to verify the source of the said amount. If the explanation is unsatisfactory, the money will be seized as the next step.”

During the murder investigation, police seized over Rs 70 lakh as proceeds of the crime. 

On June 19, investigators recovered Rs 37.40 lakh from Darshan’s house in RR Nagar. His wife Vijayalakshmi produced another Rs 3 lakh to the police following a notice. 

In a revised statement, Darshan told the police that he borrowed around Rs 40 lakh from his friend Mohan Raj to “escape the actions per the law and to hide the attempts made to cover up the crime and destroy the evidence”, as per the remand application submitted to the court on June 20. Police are on the lookout for Raj, said to be a former BBMP corporator. 

On June 12, Darshan reportedly told the police that he had paid Rs 30 lakh to his associate Pradosh S, another arrested suspect, to "make sure his name doesn't appear and bear other expenses, including that of moving the body”. Police subsequently seized the full sum from Pradosh’s residence in Bengaluru's Girinagar. 

Police had also found that two of the arrested suspects — Nikhil Nayak and Keshavamurthy — were paid Rs 5 lakh each to be the fall guys soon after the crime, while promises of payment were made to Karthik and Raghavendra. The four had initially surrendered before the police claiming responsibility for Renukaswamy's murder. 

Police said that the motive behind the murder, as of now, was Renukaswamy's "objectionable" messages and posts on Pavithra's Instagram. Renukaswamy's body was found discarded near a drain in Sumanahalli on June 9. 

On Thursday, the magistrate extended the police custody of Darshan, Dhanraj D, Vinay V and Pradosh by two days. The four would be produced again before the magistrate by 5 pm on June 22 when the custody ends. The other arrested are in judicial custody. 

Published 21 June 2024, 22:15 IST

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