Mumbai: Income tax Department and the
Anti-Corruption Bureau of Maharashtra today informed Bombay
High Court that they were conducting a probe into allegations
of accumulation of unaccounted wealth by former state minister
and MLA Kripashanker Singh and his family members.
However, Singh denied allegations saying these were
politically motivated and levelled against him by petitioner
Sanjay Tiwari to slur his image in the society.
On behalf of ACB, Additional Deputy Commissioner of
Police, Sheshrao Suryawanshi filed an affidavit saying "a
probe was in progress and the government was informed about
the allegations made in the petition. The property documents
of Singh and his family are being verified," he said.
The affidavit said one of the main complaints against
Singh and his family related to money laundering and his close
links with former Chief Minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda. "The
same is already under investigation by central agencies. The
property of respondents (Singh and family members) is spread
in more than one state".
In another affidavit, Kailash Mangal, Deputy Director
of Income Tax (Investigation), said his department had already
commenced probe in March after a complaint was filed by the
petitioner. "I-T have started collecting information from the
concerned persons", he said.
The I-T officer said Tiwari had filed the petition in
a hurry without waiting for the outcome of I-T probe, and
urged the court to dismiss the petition.
The PIL alleged that the former chief minister of
Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was put in jail for his alleged
involvement in a multi-crore hawala scam, was close to Singh,
a Congress MLA, who thrived in his close proximity and a lot
of money transactions took place between them.
The PIL said that Singh`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 reflect that Singh
received large sums of money from Koda. Despite this, probe
into Singh`s financial affairs had not been done.
Singh, denying the allegations, said he was never
appointed as a Congress party Observer for Jharkhand and had
also never recommended Koda`s name for the Chief Minister`s
post to the Congress. He also denied links with Koda and money
transactions between them.
"The petitioner is somehow trying to connect the
marriage of my son with the daughter of a minister in Koda`s
cabinet who was arrested along with the Chief Minister
(Koda)", Singh said in an affidavit.
"I am also not aware about diaries recovered from
Koda and deny that I was given large sums of money. I have
learnt that investigations is going on and therefore it would
be incorrect to say that I have not been subjected to probe
because of pressure tactics or influence", he further said.
Singh denied using political clout to amass wealth
disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The PIL said Singh had stated in affidavits submitted for
Maharashtra`s Assembly elections in 2004 and 2009 that he had
filed income tax returns for relevant asssessment years.
However, an RTI inquiry by the petitioner, Sanjay Tiwari,
from Income Tax authorities revealed that he had not filed his
returns for many years, the PIL claimed and enclosed IT
letters in this regard.
The PIL alleged that Singh had not revealed immovable
properties worth crores of rupees held in his wife`s name, in
the affidavit filed before the Election Commission during 2009
Assembly polls and annexed a list of such properties.
The PIL also wondered how Singh`s wife got access to
large amounts of money when she had no direct sources of
income. There had been large number of 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 certain
unexplained cash deposits of Rs 1.17 crore with Samata
Sahakari Bank were found in the account of Singh`s wife.
It alleged that Singh and his family members had obtained
more than two PAN cards from IT in violation of law. The PIL
alleged that Singh had used chartered flights often in the
past and that large sums of money were paid for travel.
Singh, however, denied the allegations saying that he and
his family were regularly filing income tax returns. As
regards allegations of two PAN cards, he said one had been
surrendered by them and new one had been obtained. He also
denied hiring chartered planes to travel.