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Puri guilty of hiding facts, says EOW

The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has held ex-DGP Swaraj Puri, his son Shreyas and businessman Babulal Somani responsible for hiding facts in the investigation report it submitted before Special Judge Akhilesh Pandya. The case is listed for hearing on Monday when the EOW is expected to place a complete investigation report.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2006 17:25 IST

The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has held ex-DGP Swaraj Puri, his son Shreyas and businessman Babulal Somani responsible for hiding facts in the investigation report it submitted before Special Judge Akhilesh Pandya. The case is listed for hearing on Monday when the EOW is expected to place a complete investigation report.

The EOW report has denied that Somani was in anyway related to Shreyas, who obtained admission at Shri Govindram Sakseria Institute of Technology and Science (SGSITS), Indore, under NRI-sponsored quota in 2001. In the NRI-sponsored certificate, Somani who sponsored Shreyas’ fee, showed himself to be Shreyas’s grandfather.

However, when SGSITS admission in charge questioned the relationship between Puri and Somani during counselling session, a handwritten note ‘mata ke mausaji’ below Somani’s signature was inserted. “But mother of Savita Puri (Shreyas’ mother) and wife of Somani were not sisters. On this basis, Somani’s claim as Shreyas’ grandfather appears to be a fraud on SGSITS,” EOW remarked in its report.

While it remains to be ascertained whether Somani was an NRI in 2001 as per the definition of the Income Tax Act 1961, the report stated that prima facie he didn’t come under NRI category legally because he was residing in India for 1,142 days during seven-year period preceding April 2001. This is 730 days in excess of NRI’s maximum stay in India as per the Act, EOW added.

About the NRI accounts from which the Shreyas’ fee installment was drawn, the EOW said that Rs 6.32 lakh was deposited in SGSITS account in four installments between 2001-2005. Of this, Rs 2.86 lakh was drawn in two installments from Somani’s NRI State Bank of Bikaner-Jaipur’s

Indore branch account between 2002-04 while draft of Rs 1.32 lakh was drawn from joint account of Swaraj Puri and his wife at Allahabad Bank, Arera Colony branch, Bhopal.

At the time of Shreyas’ admission in 2001, Rs 2.13 lakh came as draft from Centurion Bank and this money was paid from an account of a private company. To this, Somani explained that he had a business deal with the company from which he had to recover some dues.

Giving this detail, EOW said that it had asked Registrar of Companies, Gwalior, to provide further information about the actual source of Rs 2.13 lakh. Stating that further investigations were on, the report remarked that ex-DGP’s attempt to hide details about his son’s admission under NRI-sponsored quota and taking financial help from a person to settle SGSITS fee from the government is a breach of Indian Civil Service code of conduct rules.