Court for continuing graft probe against Mumbai Congress chief

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MUMBAI - Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh Thursday suffered a setback after the Bombay High Court reviewed the status of investigations by three investigating agencies into corruption allegations against him and directed them to continue their probe.

Singh, a legislator representing Kalina constituency, has been under a cloud for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The court direction came after the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the income tax department and the enforcement directorate submitted their reports to the division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.V. Kathawala.

The judges went through the contents of the reports and directed the three agencies to continue with their probe and submit their final reports by March 3 next year.

They also fixed the next hearing of the case on the same date.

Advocate General Ravi Kadam told the high court that the ACB had initiated a probe into the matter even before a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue was filed.

He said since the court had taken cognizance of the case, the petition should be dismissed.

The PIL was filed earlier this year by right to information (RTI) activist Sanjay Tiwari. He contended that Singh was linked to a money laundering scandal involving former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and raised questions about his assets.

The petitioner said that in 2006 when Singh was the Congress observer for Jharkhand, he was instrumental in Koda forming a government.

Koda was arrested in November 2009 and continues to be in custody, while his erstwhile ministerial colleague Kamlesh Singh, who was also nabbed, is enlarged on bail.

Kamlesh Singh’s daughter Ankita is married to the Mumbai Congress leader’s son Narendra.

Seeking an investigation by special investigation team, Tiwari said that Singh and his family members had multiple bank accounts. He said Singh and his wife Maltidevi had two PAN cards. He also listed the properties owned by the family.

Tiwari was represented in the matter by senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani and advocate Mihir Desai.

Filed under: Immigration

will not be displayed