The Bombay high court has criticised the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for its probe into disproportionate assets held by Kripashankar Singh and his family.
The high court held, albeit indirectly, that the ACB officials who investigated allegations of Singh's disproportionate assets had not done their job properly and that the probe may have been hampered by Singh and his son. "The conclusion of the ACB has been wrought by latent intimidation as would be expected from persons in the position of Kripashankar Singh and his son Narendramohan upon a mere police officer," the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi observed.
The judges rejected the ACB's conclusion that merely 11.69% of the assets held by Singh and his family were disproportionate, and termed the calculations "erroneous". The judges were also irked that though huge transactions were done by Narendramohan and his mother Maltidevi, their bank accounts reflected zero balance. Maltidevi, admittedly a housewife, had been shown to have earned Rs 75 lakhs by investing Rs 1.17 crore in forward trading in gold and silver. The ACB, however, merely stated facts before the court. "What he was required to do was to investigate how a large amount of Rs 1.17 crore came to be invested by her in the first place," the judges added.
The court was also irked that the ACB did nothing to obtain statements from banks after Singh claimed that his documents were washed away in the deluge in 2005. The judges found the lack of investigation into his son's wealth equally intriguing. "Unlike his mother, [Narendramohan] trades in loans and advances of outlandish amounts with various parties, none of whom were interrogated," the court said. The court rejected the ACB’s calculations and directed commissioner of police Arup Patnaik to do the calculation and submit a report.