Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that millions of dollars were deposited in the foreign accounts of which Raninder Singh son of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt. Amarinder Singh was the beneficiary.
The AAP released bank statements of three such accounts showing how millions of dollars flowed in HSBC accounts in Switzerland at a time when Capt. Amarinder Singh was the chief minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh on Monday, AAP senior leader Ashish Khetan said in 2005 when Amarinder was chief minister of Punjab his son created several companies abroad to siphon off crores of rupees from India.
Khetan said two prime properties were purchased by Raninder’s companies at London and Dubai at the same time.
A request to transfer the property unit P29 Marina Mansions Dubai UAE was received from Amarinder whom the Income Tax officials in its investigation termed as a discretionary beneficiary of the Jacaranda Trust (JT), which was the parent entity of all seven off shore companies.
Khetan questioned that what was the source of money transferred to these accounts, which were opened in 2006.
Khetan said Amarinder should stop playing the victim under the garb of political vendetta. He should rather come out and justify his action. “In fact it was not Amarinder who was victim but rather the victim were farmers, unemployed youth, poor sections and the traders who were the victim of Amarinder and his family’s loot”.
Khetan while presenting the documents of the investigation of the IT department said the documents procured by AAP clearly indicated that his son Raninder Singh and wife Preneet Kaur opened bank accounts in Switzerland to transfer large sums of money especially when Capt Amarinder was the chief minister in Punjab.
A Ludhiana court on Saturday had summoned Amarinder’s son Raninder after Income Tax authorities submitted a challah against him.
Khetan said that the challan said Raninder was the settler of the UK based The Jacaranda Trust India and beneficiary of at least four companies with assets nearly Rs. 460 crore. The court has summoned Raninder on July 26.
The IT sleuths have also told the court that Capt Amarinder is the discretionary beneficiary of the JT. The IT had filed a case against Raninder for producing false accounts and documents and also lying under the oath in connection with the trust and money in four companies.
Khetan claimed that Preneet Kaur had opened her account in HSBC private bank in Geneva, Switzerland on July 26, 2005. She opened her account on the legal address given by her as New Moti Bagh, palace Patiala.
Similarly Raninder opened his account in the same bank. Similarly the trust’s account was opened in July 26, 2005.
Giving the details about account numbers, Khetan also claimed that Preneet Kaur and Raninnder Singh also floated companies by the name of Mulwala Holdings Limited on June 28, 2006, Chllingham Holdings Limited on July 26, 2005, Allworth venture Holdings Limited on July, 26, 2005 with and Limerlock International Limited on July 25, 2005.
Khetan said all aforesaid accounts were opened in the HSBC bank and companies floated when Capt Amarinder was he chief minister in Punjab. “ Does that not means Amarinder was looting the Punjab and transferring the money to Switzerland through the various bank accounts his family members had opened, Khetan questioned. Otherwise through which ways and means Amarinder was earning his income which was being transferred to the overseas banks”, he further questioned.
Khetan said Raninder had also involved Kuldip Dhingra, his father in law in the unholy transactions.
Quoting the minutes of the meeting of the HSBC which the bank held with duo, Khetan said that Kuldip Dhingra and Raninder Singh objected strongly to the way in which the bank officials had asked detailed questions to both of them as there were cases of corruption registered against them which they had read in press clippings.
Kuldip even told the HSBC bank officials that the ‘real Swiss banks such as UBS or CS do not ask such questions while opening the accounts.
“This shows both Dhingra and Raninder had quite an experience of opening foreign bank accounts and was disturbed by the HSBC officials on being asked so many questions”, said Khetan.
Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann who also accompanied Khetan said, it was surprising that neither Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal nor SAD, president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal commented on the issue. “Earlier Amarinder Singh had saved Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia by opposing CBI probe against him on the drug issue and now Akalis were not ready to speak against Amarinder on such a big corruption issue. This portrayed that how both Akalis and Congress were out to defend each other on the corruption issue”, said Mann.
AAP’s Punjab spokesperson, Sukhpal Singh Khaira said there were three cases of corruption registered against Amarinder Singh such as Intranet scam, Ludhiana City centre scam and Amritsar Improvement trust land grab scam. However the Akalis had not taken any step for early prosecution of Amarinder Singh in those cases in the last eight years. This shows both Akalis and Congress are hand in glove”, said Khaira.
Others who were present in the press conference included AAP, Punjab convener, Sucha Singh Chootepur and head of AAP’s legal cell of Punjab, Himmat Singh Shergill and Gurpreet Ghuggi.
Meanwhile Capt. Amarinder Singh has refuted the allegations.
Answering the questions in this regard during the a press conference after attending the Congress Legislative Party meeting, Capt Amarinder Singh said “this was despite the fact that the HSBC authorities had already certified five years ago that they (Ms Kaur and Mr Raninder) did not have any account anywhere with it (the HSBC)”, he said,
Capt Amarinder Singh also pointed out that the purported account shown against the name of his wife and son was shown having “zero” balance. “How can it be possible to have an account that too in a Swiss Bank without any balance?” he asked.
He also produced the copies of the two letters signed by the Managing Director of the HSBC Robert J Du Lessis and Director Stephen Barney, dated September 6, 2011, certifying that neither Preneet Kaur nor Raninder Singh had any account in the bank.
The two letters said, Mrs. Preneet Kaur and Mr Raninder Singh “is not an account holder, nor was an account holder of any bank account with HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA (the “Bank”). The letter further clarified, “it is further certified that she/he is not and never was an authorised signatory on any accounts held with the Bank”.
Referring to the issue of the Jacaranda Trust India and Mulwala Holdings Limited, Capt Amarinder also produced copy of another letter issued by the HSBC Dubai, saying, there was not and never had been any accounts in the name of Jacaranda Trust India or Mulwala Holdings Limited in any of the branches of the HSBC Financial Services (Middle East) Limited.
He said, these documents had been submitted to the Income Tax authorities long back and they had initially stopped pursuing the matter. But since the elections were round the corner, they, the BJP and the Akalis, wanted to keep the issue alive during the elections although they know it too well that it will not stand anywhere in the court of law.