A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Monday questioned Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s wife in connection with allegations of money laundering.
Reacting to it, the Delhi government accused the central government of using the “caged parrot” CBI to “silence dissenters”.
A CBI official said the team sought clarifications from her. The CBI in April launched a probe against Jain.
In April, the agency registered a preliminary inquiry against Jain based on the evidences it had collected against him in connection with ‘laundering’ Rs 4.63 crore in 2015-16. The CBI had questioned Jain on June 1 and 2.
Jain was accused of being involved in money laundering through some Kolkata-based companies. He was also accused of laundering Rs 11.78 crore in 2010-12 through these companies and a Delhi-based company.
The matter was referred to the CBI by the Income Tax Department, which in September 2016 summoned Jain for his alleged links with the firms that were under scanner for alleged hawala or proxy transactions. Jain has denied the charges against him.
AAP leader Saurabh Bhardawaj, addressing a press conference, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the CBI and Income Tax Department for fabricating evidence against the Minister.
According to the BJP-led central government, Jain has used two men — Sanjay and Suresh — for sending hawala money to businessmen in Kolkata. Bharadwaj, however, said that persons named Sanjay and Suresh did not exist.
The AAP leader claimed that the BJP has presented two non-existing persons and despite Jain’s request, the probe agency has failed to present them before the Minister.
Elaborating on allegation, Bharadwaj said that the BJP has claimed that a landline number was used to make phone calls to businessmen in Kolkata but that number is out of service since 2014. He also said that landline number did not have STD facility.
One of the witnesses, Babloo Pathak has denied any relation with Jain after he was brought face-to-face with the Minister.
Bharadwaj challenged the probe agency to confront three more witnesses, examined by the CBI, with Jain so as to bring out the truth in the case. He said the probe agency has turned down the request to confront the witnesses with Jain.
“Another day, another raid! CBI now raids Minister Jain’s residence. Centre trying to silence dissenters via caged parrot,” Delhi government spokesperson Arunoday Prakash tweeted.
“BJP model: You make Mohalla Clinics, save money in projects, (provide) free medicines, tests and surgeries… We (the BJP) will keep troubling you with CBI, IT (Income Tax Department), ED (Enforcement Directorate),” he added.
Last week, a CBI team visited Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s residence regarding alleged irregularities in a ‘Talk to AK’ social media campaign, prompting strong AAP reactions against the “CBI raid”.
The CBI denied there was any raid or search at Sisodia’s residence and said a team of officers went there to record his statement.