Politics

CBI Questions Satyendra Jain’s Wife Over Money Laundering Charges; AAP Claims BJP Conspiracy

The visit to Jain’s house, which AAP has termed a ‘raid’, took place in pursuance of a preliminary enquiry registered by the CBI in April.

Satyendra Jain. Credit: PTI/Files

Satyendra Jain. Credit: PTI/Files

New Delhi: Just three days after a team from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) knocked on the doors of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s residence in connection with corruption charges over the ‘Talk to AK’ programme, another team on Monday went to the residence of Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain to question his wife in a money laundering case. The second visit by the agency within a week has prompted the Aam Aadmi Party to hit back at the BJP government at the Centre once again, stating that its leaders were being charged and probed due to a politics of “vendetta”.

The visit to Jain’s house, which AAP has termed a ‘raid’, took place in pursuance of a preliminary enquiry registered by the CBI in April in which it was alleged that Jain was involved in laundering Rs 4.63 crore in 2015-16, while he was a minister.

The CBI started the probe after the Income Tax Department had referred the matter to it under the Benami Transactions Prohibitions Act. The allegation against the minister was that he had wrongfully transferred funds to the accounts of Prayas Info Solutions Private Limited, Akinchand Developers Private Limited and Managalyatan Projects Private Limited. It was also alleged that he had laundered Rs 11.78 crore during 2010-12 through these companies and Indometal Impex Pvt Limited.

Jain had denied all allegations levelled against him.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj came out in the defence of Jain today, saying the party believes that the kind of chargesheet towards which the CBI is heading is based primarily on a story whose characters and incidents are all imaginary and have no relation to any person. The party also tweeted a statement that claimed that the BJP government at the Centre has levelled absolutely baseless charges against it.

The statement, which was read by Bharadwaj, said it has been alleged that two people who work at Jain’s house – Sanjay and Suresh – facilitated hawala transactions for Jain. The CBI thinks that these two, the statement says, have been working at Jain’s residence since 2010. “It has been alleged that these two people used to route money through hawala via Kolkata-based traders after speaking to them over the phone,” the statement, in Hindi, said.

It added that the truth was that both these people do not exist. “BJP has presented two imaginary names. No such persons have ever worked at Satyendra Jain’s residence. Satyendra Jain has repeatedly asked that both of them be produced” but neither the income tax authorities nor the CBI have produced them, said Bharadwaj.

AAP also said that it has been alleged that both these persons used to speak to Kolkata-based hawala operators through the phone number 011-27314231 and that there were several calls which were made between 2010 and 2016. “But the truth is that this phone never had an STD connection and it has been lying dead since 2014. The call records from 2010 to 2014 have been extracted but during this period no call was made to Kolkata,” the statement, titled ‘Facts of BJP’s CBI raid on Satyendra Jain’, reads.

As for the income tax department, which has claimed that four persons had deposed as witnesses against Jain, the AAP said, “The truth is that all four witnesses were pressurised and made to give false statements. The department produced one of them, Bablu Pathak, before Jain and within five minutes he confessed that he had no dealings with Jain. Jain then asked that the remaining three witnesses be also brought before him and be confronted by him, but the income tax department refused to do so.”

All this, AAP said, proved that by misusing the CBI and income tax department, the BJP was trying to implicate Jain in a false case.