The Union Home Ministry on Thursday granted sanction to prosecute Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain in a disproportionate assets case registered by the CBI in 2017, triggering an angry response from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Jain is accused of floating several shell companies in Delhi including Akinchan Developers Pvt Ltd, Indo Metal Impex Pvt Ltd, Paryas Infosolutions Pvt Ltd and Manglayatan Projects Pvt Ltd during 2009-10 and 2010-11 for alleged money laundering.
"These shell companies do not have any real business. Satyendar Jain had laundered black money of Rs 16.39 crore during 2010-11 to 2015-16 through 54 shell companies of three hawala entry operators of Kolkata namely Jeevendra Mishra, Abhishek Chokhani and Rajendra Bansal," said an official in the Home Ministry.
Jain, who holds seven portfolios including Health, Home and Public Works Department, has denied the allegations, saying the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) action is politically motivated.
Kejriwal criticised the Centre's move, saying the BJP's decision to registered the case amounted to an attack on people residing in unauthorised colonies.
"Satyendra Jain made the scheme to regularise unauthorised colonies. The Center did not pass it, instead registered a case against him. The BJP is strictly against the move to regularise unauthorised colonies. The BJP is the enemy of Delhiites," he tweeted, calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "harmful for Delhi".
The CBI initiated a probe against him in April 2017 and registered a FIR on August 24 this year.
"After laundering of unaccounted cash and receipt of equivalent in amounts in cheques through hawala entry operator and by using black money in the form of unaccounted cash, more than 200 bigha of agricultural land were purchased in names of companies controlled by Satyendar Jain in the vicinity of unorganized colonies located at Karala, Auchandi, Nizampur and Budhan areas in Delhi's North and North-West areas during last five years," said the official.
The official claimed that the Delhi Minister, after being prosecuted by the Income Tax Department, surrendered Rs 16.39 crore of "black money", which was laundered using Kolkata-based shell companies for purchasing 200 bigha land under Income Disclosure Scheme 2016 on benami names of Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.
On enquiry, it was found that Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain were in no way connected with the four shell companies floated by Satyendar Jain, said the official, claiming that Kolkata-based hawala entry operators also told the Income Tax department that the money laundering was done on the instruction of the Delhi Minister.
"Since Satyendar Jain has declared unaccounted income of Rs 16.39 crore in benami names and tax was paid on this amount, separate proceedings under Benami Property Transaction Act have been initiated. These proceedings are presently pending before the Income Tax Department."
The re-assessment proceedings referred to cases have detected hawala transactions and instances of unaccounted cash payments in purchase of land, said the official.
The official said that Satyendar Jain had admitted in a writ petition in the Delhi High Court that black money totalling Rs 16.39 crore was actually laundered using shell companies controlled by three hawala entry operators of Kolkata.
"The efforts of the AAP government to regularize unauthorized colonies during its first tenure from December 28, 2013 to February 14, 2014 and present tenure is linked with the investment in agricultural land by Satyendar Jain. The proposed regularization of unauthorized colonies will convert these agricultural lands into residential and commercial land which will provide huge returns on the investment by the Minister," the official claimed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)