Bengaluru auto-rickshaw driver who lives in Rs 1.6 crore villa under I-T department scanner

Bengaluru: The Income-Tax department is keeping a watch over the income sources of a Bangalore auto-rickshaw driver who now resides in a sumptuous Rs 1.6 crore-villa in an elite society in Whitefield. Nalluralli Subramani, however, attributes his luxurious lifestyle to the generosity of a foreign lady who used to avail his auto-rickshaw service.

An I-T department official said the 37-year-old auto driver has been under close watch from mid-April in the light of the Lok Sabha elections. “We had shortlisted sources from where unaccounted money would come into play for the elections. As soon as this case reached us, we decided to go forward and search his property at Jatti Dwarakamai in Mahadevapura of Whitefield,” the official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Officials recently searched his Rs 1.6-crore triplex villa in Whitefield.

According to unverified information, a whopping Rs 7.9 crore, jewellery worth crores of rupees and property documents were recovered during the search at the villa of Nalluralli Subramani, 37, in the gated community of Jetty Dwarakamayi on April 16.

“We cannot disclose the details. The search was conducted based on reliable information. While it seems to be a benami property case, investigation is underway,” said an official.

The investigators have issued a notice to the developer of the gated community of 15 villas, seeking details of the transactions pertaining to his property.

The official said a probe has been initiated and a notice has been issued to the auto driver under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. The information has also been solicited from the developer of the colony which includes 15 villas.

“However, all documents of the property indicate this is not a benami case as he has provided relevant proof,” he said, adding that confirmation will have to wait till completion of the investigation.

According to his neighbours, Subramani leads an opulent life and does not take his autorickshaw out for work. “He often spends time at home doing recreational activities and ends up partying with friends almost every evening,” one of them said. Others hinted he was well connected with top political leaders.

Subramani, meanwhile, credited his income to a foreigner who used to avail his auto-rickshaw service. He insists the woman offered to help him improve his lifestyle after she felt compassionate on learning about his financial problems. He added that she began lending him money on an interest-free basis to help his children get a good education.