Probe is on into wealth of Kripashankar, IT & ACB tell HC
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 21:54
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.


First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 21:54

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