Followers of Christianity all over the world often say, ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”’ Evangelist Paul Dhinakaran will evidently learn what this means, firsthand. The rich evangelist is under the radar of the Income Tax (IT) department.
This morning, officials from the IT department paid a visit to Dhinakaran on suspicion of huge tax evasion. It is to be noted that the evangelist heads the Jesus Calls Ministry. Jesus Calls collects donations under various schemes and plans that it offers on its website. The headquarters for the same is in Chennai. Paul Dhinakaran is the son of the late D.G.S. Dhinakaran, a Christian preacher who started the Jesus Calls Ministry.
Over 28 locations belonging to the group in Chennai and Coimbatore is under the radar of the IT department. Moreover, an educational institute in Coimbatore, Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, is also being searched. It is most pertinent to note that Paul Dhinakaran is the Chancellor of this institute.
Income Tax raids underway at 28 premises of evangelist Paul Dhinakaran in Tamil Nadu, over alleged tax evasion. The premises include Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, and Jesus Calls ministry. More details awaited.
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2021
According to sources in the IT department, the primary reason for this search is to check if the group headed by Dhinakaran has been evading tax. The source said, “Since it is a big group we will be able to provide details only at the end of the raids.”
Prima facie view of the situation illustrates that there is indeed a suspicion of tax evasion. According to the Jesus Calls website, “The Jesus Calls TV ministry telecasts 400 programs a month, in 10 different languages across the globe, containing real-life stories from people who have overcome their troubles through faith and prayer along with hope.”
This isn’t the first time that an evangelist, like Paul Dhinakaran, is under the radar of the IT department for tax evasion. According to ANI, the department has “carried out search and seizure operations on 5th November in the case of a well-known self-styled evangelist of Thiruvalla, Kerala and his group of various trusts that enjoy exemption under Income-tax Act, 1961 as charitable/religious trusts.”
Income Tax Dept carried out search & seizure operations on 5th Nov in the case of a well-known self-styled evangelist of Thiruvalla, Kerala & his group of various trusts that enjoy exemption under Income-tax Act, 1961 as charitable/religious trusts: Central Board of Direct Taxes
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2020
With such tax inspections, the level of ‘philanthropy’ these trusts and evangelists like Paul Dhinakaran are spreading is clear. For structures that purport to cater to the poor and the sick people, these proceedings certainly bring out their dark side.