PRELIMINARY PROBE Jain has been accused of laundering ₹4 crore by shell companies
NEW DELHI: A team of Central Bureau of Investigation officials questioned Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain’s wife for six hours on Monday in connection with a money laundering case.
CBI spokesperson RK Gaur confirmed it and added that the examination of Jain’s wife was being done to seek clarifications in connection to a preliminary enquiry.
The matter was referred to the CBI by income tax department under the new Benami Transactions Prohibitions Act, a law brought in to fight black money.
This came a few days after a CBI team had visited deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at his house to record his statement in its preliminary enquiry into the ‘Talk to AK’ programme.
“It is alleged that Jain was involved in money laundering to the tune of ₹4.63 crore, when he was a public servant during 2015-16, through Prayas Info Solutions Private Limited, Akinchan Developers Private Limited and Managalyatan Projects Private Limited,” the CBI said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), meanwhile, accused the central government of “vendetta polibigha tics”. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the central agencies raiding AAP’S offices is nothing but “a ploy to divert attention from the Vyapam scam, Panama papers and alleged irregularities in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA)”.
In June, the CBI had questioned Jain with regard to a preliminary enquiry (PE) into accusations of money laundering lodged against him in April. The enquiry was registered to look into allegations that the AAP leader, already battling accusations of nepotism, laundered over ₹4 crore through a web of shell companies, CBI officials told HT.
There are three pending preliminary enquiries against the minister. One of the allegations against Jain pertain to the acquisition of agriculture land worth over Rs 27 crore in Delhi by private companies linked to him and misuse of his official position to influence regularisation of illegal colonies in the national capital, CBI officials had earlier said. IT documents suggested that Jain had “purchased more than 200 land” in north and northwest Delhi “in close vicinity of illegal colonies in the name of companies controlled by him”.
AAP SAYS CASE FICTITIOUS
The AAP said the central agency was acting at the behest of BJP and the case was fictitious. Party spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “All characters and events depicted in the CBI’S story are entirely fictitious. It claims that two persons — Sanjay and Suresh — have been working with Jain since 2010 and both used to send hawala money through Kolkata-based racketeers. We believe these persons do not exist.”
“This establishes that the BJP is misusing the CBI and the I-T department to implicate Jain,” Bhardwaj said.
The I-T department has said that four people have given statements against the minister. However, the AAP claimed that they were recorded under duress. “When Jain told the I-T department he wanted to confront the four persons, it allowed him to talk to one Babloo. But he broke down and confessed within five minutes that Jain had nothing to do with this case,” an AAP said in a statement.