Modi urged to come clean on probe withdrawal against CBDT chief’s kin

Manish Tewari

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Questioning if a probe against a real estate developer in an alleged land scam in Uttar Pradesh was withdrawn as he was related to a key central government official, the Congress on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.

Pointing to the Uttar Pradesh government which ordered a probe in December 2017 against Arvind Goel, brother-in-law of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra, and subsequently withdrew it, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari sought to know why the probe was withdrawn.

Tewari cited documents of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath in December 1, 2017 ordering a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) against Goel and his brother, for allegedly buying large tracts of land through shell companies and also evading stamp duties.

“Despite existence of cogent evidence of Goel having used the shell companies’ route to buy the land and evading stamp duties, the probe was withdrawn within a week with communication from Special Secretary in Chief Minister’s office, saying such a probe will cause mental harassment to Goel.

“Our question to PM Modi and his government is why was this probe withdrawn… was it because Goel is closely related to the CBDT chairman,” Tewari told the media here.

The Congress leader also targeted Jaitley who recently in his blog had strongly reprimanded the CBI for naming prominent officials in the ICICI-Videocon loan case.

“When the CBI probes the government’s and BJP’s cronies, Jaitley calls it ‘investigative adventurism’, but when central agencies are used to intimidate and harass Opposition leaders and parties, then it is investigative integrity.

“We demand answers from Modi, from UP Chief Minister as well as Jaitley, as to why the probe against Goel was withdrawn despite the existence of substantial evidence of his wrongdoing,” said Tewari, pointing to documents revealing demands from several quarters for a probe into the matter by the CBI as well as the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.

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