Go ahead with probe against Kripashankar: HC

Last Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 16:59

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked
Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and Anti-corruption Bureau
to go ahead with their probe into the alleged accumulation of
unaccounted wealth by Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar
Singh.

Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More observed, "We hold
that the Public interest litigation (PIL) against Kripashankar
Singh is maintainable."

"Let the probe by investigating agencies (ED, IT and ACB)
go on," the judges said and listed the PIL for hearing after
four weeks.

Earlier, the investigating agencies had submitted their
reports to the court in a sealed cover on progress made in the
investigations. The judges had perused the reports and also
asked the agencies to continue with the probe.

On July 7, the bench had reserved ruling on the
maintainability of the PIL after hearing both sides. While the
Mumbai Congress Chief argued that the PIL was politically
motivated at the behest of BJP and aimed at maligning his
image as well that of his family, the petitioner Sanjay Tiwari
denied allegations of political rivalry.

The PIL urged the court to direct the Government to
constitute a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of independent
persons to probe alleged accumulation of unaccounted wealth by
Kripashankar and his relatives.

The PIL alleged that the former Chief Minister of
Jharkhand Madhu Koda currently in jail for his alleged
involvement in a multi-crore hawala scam, was close to
Kripashankar, also a Congress MLA, who thrived in his close
proximity and a lot of money transactions took place between
them.

The PIL claimed that Kripashankar`s son is married to
Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, a minister in the Koda
cabinet, also in jail in connection with the scam.

The petition alleged that certain diaries were recovered
by the investigating team which reflects that Kripashankar
received large sums of money from Koda. Despite this, probe
into his financial affairs had not been done.

The PIL said Kripashankar had stated in affidavits
submitted for Maharashtra`s Assembly elections in 2004 and
2009 that he had filed income tax returns for relevant
assessment years. However, an RTI inquiry by the petitioner
from Income Tax authorities revealed that he had not filed his
returns for many years, the PIL claimed.

The PIL alleged that the Mumbai Congress chief had not
disclosed immovable properties worth crores of rupees held in
his wife`s name, in the affidavit filed before the election
commission during 2009 Assembly elections. It also annexed a
list of such properties.

The PIL wondered how Kripashankar`s wife got access to
large amount of money when she had no direct source of income.

There had been forward trading in gold and silver worth crores
of rupees in her name, the PIL alleged and said that losses
were paid in cash and unsold stock not declared in affidavits.

Enclosing documents, the PIL alleged that unexplained
cash deposits of Rs 1.17 crore with Samata Sahakari Bank were
found in the account of Kripashankar`s wife.

It alleged that Kripashankar and his family members had
obtained more than two PAN cards from IT in violation of law.

The PIL alleged that Kripashankar had used chartered
flights in the past and that large sums of money were paid for
this purpose which needed to be investigated. The petitioner
also alleged that Kripashankar had not declared his wife`s
property when he stood for elections in 2009.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 16:59

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