Mumbai police write to Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil to invoke the Prevention of Corruption Act against the beleaguered Cong leader
The Mumbai Police has sought the Assembly speaker’s permission to prosecute senior Congress leader Kripa Shankar Singh under the Prevention of Corruption Act, three months after the Supreme Court dismissed his plea seeking stay on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the allegations.
The Supreme Court had in September directed Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, who is heading the SIT, to submit a final report or a closure report before a trial court in Mumbai.
Police wrote to Dilip Walse-Patil, the Assembly speaker last week, seeking sanction to proceed against Kalina MLA Singh, who resigned as the city Congress chief last year following allegations of corruption. The Prevention of Corruption Act demands that the investigating agency seeks prosecution sanction from the controlling authority of any public servant against whom it intends to proceed.
According to the Mumbai Police sources, the SIT probe revealed that Singh amassed assets around 20 per cent more that his sources of income.
Satyapal Singh and Walse-Patil remained unavailable for comment, but police sources said a watertight case has been prepared against Singh. “Police have sought permission to prosecute a senior politician, which proves the cops have a strong case,” a source said.
Kripa Shankar Singh’s troubles started in 2010, when activist Sanjay Tiwari filed a complaint against the politician with the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Not satisfied with the ACB probe, Tiwari filed a public interest litigation in the High Court, which directed the then Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik to register an offence. Kripa Shankar challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court, which didn't stay the probe but started monitoring the investigation.
Tiwari alleged in his PIL that Kripa Shankar was close to former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, an accused in the multi-crore hawala scam and other corruption cases.
Kripa Shankar’s son Narendra is married to Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, who was a minister in the Koda-led Cabinet. The PIL alleged that Ankita received Rs 1.75 crore from Kamlesh's bank account, and that there were huge transactions from the bank accounts of Kripa Shankar's wife Malti too.
The PIL, which Kripa Shankar termed “politically motivated”, said that the Congress leader bought a number of properties in a span of just two years (between 2004 and 2006).
In November 2009, Mumbai Mirror revealed thataNaviMumbaipropertyworthRs25crore, in the name of Kripa Shankar's wife, was not mentioned in the affidavit declaring his assets ahead of the 2009 Assembly elections.
The purchase agreement was signed by the power of attorney holder, a constable named Vishnukant Shukla (how does a constable hold the power of attorney for a plot worth Rs 25 crore bought by the Congress leader's wife in 2004, Mumbai Mirror, November 17, 2009).
Kripa Shankar is also accused of not declaring two plots co-owned by his wife, and a duplex apartment in Vile Parle, bought in the name of his wife and son, to which he said the apartment was bought by his son and that his wife's ownership was only nominal.
Abhijit.Sathe @timesgroup.com TWEET @_abhijit_sathe