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Paradise papers: Rajya Sabha MP seeks ‘privilege proceedings’ against daily

The name of RK Sinha, founder chairman and majority share holder of security services firm SIS, figures in the Paradise papers leak in connection with the firm’s alleged offshore links.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2017 19:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Paradise Papers,Rajya Sabha,Venkaiah Naidu
MP from Bihar RK Sinha has requested Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu for privilege proceedings against the chairman and chief editor of the English daily which published the leaked Paradise papers.(@ICIJorg on Twitter)

Rajya Sabha MP RK Sinha, whose name has figured in the leaked Paradise papers, has written to the chairman of the Upper House seeking “privilege proceedings” against the management of an English daily which published details about his alleged overseas assets.

In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, he asserted that neither he nor his firm — Security and Intelligence Services (SIS) — was involved in any tax evasion.

The MP from Bihar is founder chairman and majority share holder of SIS, which is into security and intelligence services. His name figured in the Paradise papers leak in connection with his firm’s alleged offshore links.

Paradise Papers, a clutch of leaked records and internal communications from Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti, expose the secret wealth of hundreds of rich Indians, including politicians, corporate heavyweights and entertainment leaders, who are suspected to have used offshore tax havens to dodge taxes.

Sinha asserted that there is no illegality in his association with a Malta-based offshore company SIS Asia Pacific Holdings Limited (SAPHL).

He further said that he holds only one single share in SAPHL and that too on behalf of SIS as its nominee director.

“I wish to highlight that the Indian government entered into a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Malta in 1995. Therefore, Malta is a recognised tax jurisdiction and not an illegal tax haven,” he said in a letter to the vice president.

Sinha requested Naidu for “privilege proceedings” against the chairman and chief editor of the English daily which published these leaked papers.

According to sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, the chairman is likely to refer the matter to privileges committee for its examination.

The panel may also call Sinha and representatives of the daily to present their respective cases before it.

On not mentioning about SAPHL in Rajya Sabha nomination papers in 2014, the letter said there was no provision or requirement in the nomination form to declare directorships or ownership of assets where there was no direct beneficial interest.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 19:50 IST