Congress dares PM Modi to put ‘Paradise Papers’ suspects in dock

Randeep Singh Surjewala
File Photo

New Delhi, Nov 6: The Congress on Monday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate strict action against the suspected Indian tax evaders who are named in the “Paradise Papers” leak, including one of his ministers, and put the entire facts before the apex Court bench overseeing black money investigations.

The opposition also demanded the resignation of Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

Congress Spokesman Randeep Surjewala said “Will the Prime Minister show the courage of conviction to hand over this entire information to the bench of Supreme Court that is looking at action against black money holders? Will the ‘Compromised Bureau of Investigation’ (CBI) and ED (Enforcement Directorate) take action?”

The “Paradise Papers” are a set of 13.4 million leaked financial documents from law firm Appleby on investments of renowned multi-national corporations (MNCs) and that of  Indian famous personalities and abroad in tax havens.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung found the documents and subsequently shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The Indian Express newspaper conducted the probe in the case of 714 Indian links, which include Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and BJP Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Sinha.

The leaked papers allegedly reveal that Jayant Sinha was a director in a US company D. Light Design that has a subsidiary of the same name in Cayman Islands. This subsidiary increased a loan of US$3 million. A loan agreement dated December 31, 2012 was signed with Jayant Sinha as a signatory and a director.

Surjewala said that Jayant Sinha concealed this information of being a director of D. Light Design in his declaration to the Election Commission as also to the Lok Sabha Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office.

He asserted that Jayant Sinha continued as a director of D. Light Design even after being elected as an MP in May 2014 and “continued to receive money and shares” of D. Light Design during this period.

“Jayant Sinha also refuses to disclose the various financial documents that he has signed for or on behalf of Omidyar Network. He is or has been a director of various other companies. Do these companies have any connection to any offshore entities like the Omidyar Network?,” the Congress leader asserted.

Meanwhile, Sinha in a series of tweets justified his stand, R.K. Sinha, when confronted by media, wrote on a piece of paper that he is on a “maun vrat” (vow of silence) for seven days for religious reasons.

Surjewala said that R.K. Sinha and his wife Rita Kishore Sinha are directors of an offshore company named ‘SIS Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd’ (SAPHL) in Malta, a tax haven.

He further stated that another company known as  ‘SIS International Holding Ltd’ (SIHL) is incorporated in the offshore tax haven of British Virgin Islands and owns 39,99,999 shares of SAPHL.

“R.K. Sinha neither disclosed this in his election affidavit nor to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat…Is the non-disclosure not an electoral offence? Did the BJP and the Modi government not know about all these offshore tax haven based transactions?” Surjewala asked.

The Congress leader said that Modi’s “so-called” fight against black money and corruption remains a “complete flop” because it failed to take action in the Panama Papers leak in which around 500 names emerged, including those of persons related to the ruling party.

Wefornews Bureau 

 

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