Go ahead with probe against Kripashankar: HC
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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.


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

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