From DK Shivakumar to Lalu: Some of the politicians, parties under agencies’ scannerUpdated: Aug 03, 2017 21:40 IST
Karnataka minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar is the latest addition to the long list of opposition leaders, who are under the scanner of central agencies such as the CBI, the enforcement directorate (ED), and the income tax department for charges ranging from tax evasion to graft.
Tax officials raided multiple properties linked to 64 places in Delhi and Karnataka linked to energy minister Shivakumar, who is hosting a group of party legislators from Gujarat to avoid a break in their ranks ahead of a close Rajya Sabha election, as part of investigations into his alleged tax evasion and dodgy investments in real estate.
Here is the list of politicians who are facing heat on a slew of charges:
DK Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh
On August 2 and 3, the income tax department conducted raids at the New Delhi and Bengaluru houses of Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh in connection with a tax evasion case. It sparked a political furore with the Congress accusing the NDA-led Centre of “witch-hunt”. The Congress minister is hosting 42 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a Bengaluru resort ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in which senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is locked in a cliffhanger of a contest with brewing rebellion among party legislators loyal to rebel Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela.
Karti Chidambaram INX-FIPB approval case
In May this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR against Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, for alleged irregularities relating to foreign direct investments received by INX Media in 2007. Among others booked along with Karti are Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who were then managing INX media and are now in jail for the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.
The CBI has alleged Karti used his influence in the finance ministry to help INX Media get an approval to receive foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors. “The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations,” former finance minister Chidambaram said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and his family members have been accused of acquiring prime properties through dubious deals, a charge he denies. In July, the CBI raided 12 places across the country, including Prasad’s Patna home, over alleged irregularities in awarding of tenders for hotel maintenance when he was the railways minister. Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, and their son Tejashwi, the former deputy chief minister of Bihar, have been named in the case.
The first one to come under the scanner over money laundering charges was RJD chief’s daughter Misa Bharti. The arrest of a chartered accountant allegedly linked to a private firm owned by Bharti signalled trouble for her as well as her husband Shailesh. The ED believes the CA acted as a mediator between the infamous Jain brothers and Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd, a private firm involved in publishing business. In March this year, ED arrested Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Kumar Jain on the accusation of laundering money worth over Rs 4,300 crore and subsequently zeroed in on a CA named Rajesh Aggarwal allegedly linked to Bharti.
Aam Aadmi Party
The AAP government is under a CBI probe for setting up of a special unit under the directorate of vigilance without the necessary approvals from the lieutenant governor. Agency sources said the government sanctioned procurement of “high-end equipment for data and research analysis, surveillance, and monitoring purposes”. The BJP’s Delhi unit has accused the AAP of setting up the “spy unit” to monitor activities of government functionaries. The CBI has also registered a preliminary inquiry against health minister Satyendar Jain over allegations of money-laundering.
In April last year, the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry in connection with an alleged sting operation, purportedly showing former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs to support him in a floor test in the Assembly.
The case was registered in September 2015 under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha, among others. The allegation involved acquisition of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during his tenure as Union steel minister in UPA II government. Singh has denied the allegations and termed the case as an outcome of political vendetta.
In his capacity as ex-officio chairman of the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) in 2006, former finance minister P Chidambaram approved the sale of telecom company Aircel to a Malaysian company. Both the CBI and the ED are investigating the deal.
Subramanian Swamy alleged that the FIPB clearance was illegally approved by Chidambaram. Since the deal was over and above Rs 600 crore, it ought to have been placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs by the then finance minister, Swamy said. Chidambaram has, however, rejected the charges, saying that the approval was given in the normal course of business.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda
CBI registered a case against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in September 2015 for allegedly granting favours to private builders in the acquisition of around 400 acres of land in Gurgaon during the previous Congress regime. Last year, the agency raided 20 locations, including Hooda’s premises. Hooda has denied the allegations.
The multi-crore national rural health mission (NRHM) scam has continued to haunt BSP supremo and former UP chief minister Mayawati as well as senior party leaders, including former health minister, Anant Kumar Mishra and former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, who was arrested by the probe agency.
The Centre released Rs 10,000 crore under NRHM between 2005 and 2011. A CAG audit detected misappropriation of Rs 4,900 crore.
In 2015, the CBI registered a case against two ex-officials of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association for their alleged role in the Rs 113 crore scam, which also involved National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah. The alleged involvement of Abdullah, a minister in the previous UPA regime, was cited as one of the main reasons by the state high court for handing over the probe to CBI. The case relates to alleged misappropriation of funds received by the JKCA.
Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot & others
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot, former Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, and former Union minister Vyalar Ravi’s son Ravi Krishna, among others are accused in this case.
The allegation pertains to irregularities in the award of a tender to a private firm linked with these Congress leaders. They have rebutted the allegations.
Jagan Mohan Reddy
CBI inquiry into YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy’s business empire and the source of its funds was ordered by the Andhra Pradesh high court in August 2011 and on May 27, 2012.
The probe agency said various companies and individuals had made huge investments in Jagan’s business empire when his father YS Rajasekhar Redddy was the chief minister. Reddy was released on bail from Chanchalguda jail on September 25, 2013, nearly 16 months after his arrest. He has denied all allegations.
The CBI investigation into the Rs 2,500-crore Saradha chit fund scam has taken a major toll on the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal. Over a dozen party MLAs and MPs have been accused in the case. TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay was arrested on January 4 this year while fellow MP Tapas Paul was arrested on December 30 last year.
The former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested by the ED last year in connection with a money laundering case. The senior NCP leader has been accused of receiving kickbacks in awarding contracts.
(Part of this article was first published in April, 2017)
First Published: Aug 03, 2017 12:27 IST