The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday reserved order on an objection raised by Congress leader Kripashankar Singh over a public interest litigation seeking the setting up of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the alleged multi-crore assets of the former.
His counsel Mukul Rohatgi urged the HC to dismiss the PIL— which alleges that Singh has wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income —saying that it was politically motivated, serving the interests of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“It is a political interest litigation, filed to malign the image of Singh and his family,” said the Rohatgi, adding: “Petitioner Sanjay Tiwari, in the garb of an RTI activist, is riding piggyback on the interests of the BJP.”
The division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More asked if agencies like the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) would have probed the matter, had it not been for the PIL.
They said that as Singh was a public figure, it was in his own interest to face the probe and come out clean.“The probe must reach its logical conclusion,” the judges said.
“The Income Tax department has prima facie done its duty but what about the other agencies?” the judges asked, after additional solicitor general Darius Khambatta submitted that the I-T department has almost completed its probe and now the matter will be forwarded to concerned assessing officer.
Khambatta added that the ED was still probing the case, but has not yet found any evidence so far supporting the petitioner’s allegations.