Maha: Kripashankar challenges graft charges in SC

On February 22, the High Court, after holding that prima facie case of criminal misconduct is made out against the Mumbai leader, ordered his prosecution.

New Delhi: Senior Mumbai Congress leader Kripashankar Singh has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court direction for his prosecution under the
Prevention of Corruption Act and attachment of his immovable properties in a case of alleged disproportionate assets.

On February 22, the High Court, after holding that prima
facie case of criminal misconduct is made out against the
Mumbai leader, ordered his prosecution.

"The Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik shall obtain
sanction from the government to prosecute Kripashankar Singh
for criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption
Act. The role of other respondents (Kripashankar`s family)
shall also be investigated into," a division bench of Chief
Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi said.

The bench had said Patnaik shall collect documentary
evidence regarding all movable and immovable properties of
Kripashankar and his family, including his wife, son and
daughter-in-law, who will also be prosecuted for aiding in the
alleged crime.

"We can easily conclude prima facie that a cognisable
offence is disclosed against Kripashankar Singh. It need not
detain us to conclude that such investigation is of common
nature and need not even be specifically directed by the court
but should have been undertaken by the investigating agencies
like the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) themselves as public
officers," the court said.

Expressing astonishment at Kripashankar`s
"rags-to-riches" story, the court said "he started from
scratch in 1970s. Until 1998 when he became MLA, nothing is
shown to have been acquired by him.

"He is shown to have earned as MLA a salary of Rs 45,000
per month and in that salary has amassed more than dozen
immovable properties. His assets are shown to be 11.69 per
cent disproportionate to his known source of income. Such
calculation would beat not just out arithmetic but also our

The high court passed the direction while hearing a
public interest litigation filed by activist Sanjay Tiwari who
alleged the Congress MLA had amassed wealth disproportionate
to his known sources of income.

The court, while keeping the PIL pending, has directed
the Commissioner of Police to file a compliance report on
April 19.

Tiwari has alleged in the petition that Singh had been
close to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda who is
currently in jail for alleged involvement in a multi-crore
hawala scam. He alleged several monetary transactions had
taken place between them.

Singh`s son Narendra Mohan is married to Ankita, daughter
of Kamlesh Singh, who was a minister in the Koda cabinet, and
is now in jail in connection with the hawala scam.

According to the PIL, Ankita had received Rs 1.75 crore
in her account from Kamlesh while there were huge transactions
from the bank accounts of Kripashankar`s wife Malti Devi too.


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