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Report Dated February 26, 2017 10:55 AM
Less than a year ago, income tax sleuths conducted a series of raids across Karnataka on politicians who had not filed their I-T returns or those who they suspected had black money.
The officers were in for a surprise when they discovered a diary with suspicious entries at the residence of Karnataka Congress MLC Govindaraj. The influential legislator, known to be close to top leaders in the ruling party, is also known as a party fund-raiser.
Govindaraj’s contacts are not restricted to Karnataka — he is known for his close links to many politicians in New Delhi. He is also the president of Karnataka Olympic Association. Income tax sources told Times Now the diary was allegedly hidden in Govindraj’s bedroom.
The file bears the signature of two witnesses who testified that it was recovered from the Congress legislator’s bedroom.
Just like the diaries seized from executives of Sahara and Birla groups, this diary, too, contains initials of individuals, their offices and entities that instantly arouse suspicion that money was collected and paid to them for services. In fact, it clearly mentions the initials of those who have given him the money in one column and in the other, initials of those whom he paid money. The secret diary No. AKG03 speaks of a staggering Rs 600 crore routed to mysterious names like AICC, AP, M Vora, SG office, RG office and DGS. The diary also has an entry under steel bridge from where Rs 65 crore was marked as received. There is one entry which shows Rs 7 crore being paid to media for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike elections. The income tax department had called in Govindraj for questioning about the entries on February 11, 2017.
Govindraj claimed the handwriting isn’t his and the signatures were forged. The Congress, too, has claimed the diary is fake and an attempt to malign them, while the BJP has called for a detailed investigation into it.
Only a thorough investigation will provide answers as to who these people are, though some of the initials in the diaries bear striking resemblance to the names and initials in Agusta scam and ex-CBI director’s BBM chat.
Report Dated February 22, 2017 7:31 PM
The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested former Enforecement Directorate Joint Director J P Singh and three others on charges of bribery to dilute probe in the IPL spot fixing scandal.
Singh, a 2000 batch IRS officer of Customs and Excise cadre, was suspended from ED and repatriated to his cadre after CBI registered a case against him in September 2015. Singh was arrested along with his then deputy in ED Sanjay Kumar, Mumbai-based middleman Bimal Agrawal and Gujarat-based bookie Chandresh Patel.
According to sources, J P Singh, through his conduits, “extorted” bribe money in several crores of rupees from several bookies who were being probed by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). A team led by J P Singh in ED’s Ahmedabad unit was probing the Rs 2,000-crore IPL betting scandal and the Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta.
It is suspected that J P Singh may have taken anywhere between Rs 7 crore to Rs 10 crore in bribe money from bookies and hawala dealers during the IPL probe.
CBI sources said bookies who accepted Singh’s conditions were given immunity from ED raids and were never called to its office for questioning.
Report Dated February 21, 2017 7:23 PM
In a significant development, the Central Bureau of Investigation named its former director AP Singh as an ‘accused’ along with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi in a case registered to probe alleged corruption.
Moin Akhtar Qureshi, who is also under probe by the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate, is accused of operating as a middleman for several public servants including AP Singh.
Top CBI sources said that its teams also conducted raids on the residence of former CBI director, who headed the agency between 2010 and 2012 when the UPA government was in power.
AP Singh was instrumental in the arrest of former telecom minister A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi and several corporates and public servants in the 2G spectrum scam and the CWG scam. He also finalized the long pending Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case.
However, upon his retirement, it was revealed in an income tax evasion probe against Qureshi that he and former agency chief regularly interacted “on daily basis” on Blackberry Messenger (BBM) platform.
The government had, in fact, informed the Supreme Court in 2014 that there were “astonishing state of affairs” between former CBI director AP Singh and meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Report Dated January 22, 2017 5:01 PM
In Gujarat’s capital, Gandhinagar, a peon with the Gujarat Water Resources Development Corporation (GWRDC) Ltd has been found to be owning seven properties — three flats, an office space and three land plots — and two cars. These assets are valued at Rs 1.18 crore on paper, while their market value is pegged at multiple crores.
The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered five cases of disproportionate assets (DA) in Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Sabarkantha, for a total value of Rs 14.17 crore.
ACB officials said Hasmukh Rawal, a peon with GWRDC, was found to have assets disproportionate by Rs 1.18 crore after scrutiny of his sources of income and properties bought between April 2004 and March 2016.
In another case, Bharatgiri Goswami, associated with the HR department of GSPC, is named in a DA case of Rs 11.56 crore, an amount 2,489.89% of his income.
“Goswami was found to own an apartment in Akshar Apartments and a plot in Sector 1 at Gandhinagar, another plot at Kanva Society in Koba, seven pieces of farmland in Pethapur and a piece of farmland in Alampur near Gandhinagar. We have taken into consideration the period from 2004 to 2015 for the assessment,” said an ACB official.
Sources said that Goswami has left the government organization to join a corporate house.
The ACB’s Sabarkantha unit on Friday registered a case against Prakashchandra Patel, field assistant (land acquisition) with Gujarat Land Development Corporation, Himmatnagar for DA of Rs 33.09 lakh, which is 157.35% more than his income for the period between 2008 and 2015.
The ACB team of Rajkot (rural) filed a complaint against Anilkumar Makadia, deputy mamlatdar at Dhoraji. Investigators said Makadia was found to have assets 97.9% greater, at Rs 40.66 lakh, against his known sources of income. Another team in Rajkot city registered a case against Chandrika Vadher, former principal of Dharmendrasinhji College in Rajkot for DA of Rs 68.98 lakh, which is 83% more than her income. Vadher was trapped in a corruption case in August 2016 after which an inquiry was started against her.
ACB officials said that these cases took place on the basis of secret investigations carried out by various field teams.
Report Dated January 11, 2017 5:24 PM
Civilians living near paramilitary forces’ camps, particularly those of the Border Security Force (BSF), say officers sell fuel and food provisions meant for the personnel to outsiders at half the market rate.
The “disclosure” made by jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav of the BSF’s 29th Battalion in videos on social media supplements accusations of shady dealings by paramilitary officers, particularly those posted to border areas.
Shopkeepers near the Humhama BSF headquarters near Srinagar airport are beneficiaries of petrol and diesel, and even food stores from men of rank, according to a jawan and some civilians. “They sell food items like dal and vegetables to civilians outside the camp at cheaper rates and leave us bereft of the facilities. They even deny us our daily-use items and sell the same to their agents outside the camps,” a BSF jawan said on condition of anonymity.
A civil contractor added, “We get petrol from BSF officers in charge of provisions at Humhama camp at half the market rate… Other items, like rice and spices, are also available much cheaper.”
A furniture dealer who requested anonymity said the “purchasing officers, while placing orders for elegant furniture for their offices, take a commission that is more than what we earn”. The dealer added, “There is no e-tendering in the BSF. The officer will purchase furniture and take a commission and even compromise on the quality of the items.” The story is the same when it comes to some CRPF officers.
The BSF has ordered an inquiry into Yadav’s allegations.