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PM Modi trying to shield his favourite corporate friends in Coal import scam: Congress

9/3/2018

New Delhi, Alleging that the Narendra Modi Government was trying to shield its corporate friends in a scam relating to the over invoicing of coal imports by 40 companies, the Congress on Monday demanded an impartial and time bound probe by a special investigation team in the matter. Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said, 'in October 2014, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, a wing of the Finance ministry, announced initiation of a probe into a scam relating to the over invoicing in Coal imports by 40 companies. In March 31, 2016, the DRI announced that 40 companies were involved in the scam which was to the tune of Rs 29,000 cr. In response to a PIL in September 2017 by an NGO with which Prashant Bhushan was associated, demanding an SIT probe in the matter, the DRI, on March 9, 2018 submitted to the High court that there was no need for an SIT and that four out of the 40 companies, which included companies of industrialists Adani, Anil Ambani and Essar company, had been issued a show cause notice in the matter. However, the probe in the matter has hit a roadblock due to the PIL filed by industrialist Adani in the Singapore High court that the documents pertaining to the Coal exports not be given to the Indian authorities as per a Singapore law. After the Singapore high court rejected the plea , he approached the Bombay high court in the matter. The fact that despite four years having elapsed since the probe was initiated, there has been no effort by the Modi government to get the documents from Singapore. It is clear that the probe has not reached a conclusion as it involved Mr Modi's favourite industrialist.' 'We demand that the DRI probe in the case be carried out in an impartial and a time bound manner. The documents available with the SBI, Singapore be made available to the DRI,'he said. Charging the Prime Minister and the Finance minister of maintaining a silence in the matetr, mr Ramesh said,'the PM has been maintaining a silence in the matetr. He and the Finance minister should break their silence Mr Ramesh wanted to know why despite the Prime Minister having visited Signapore thrice in the last three years, he could not ensure that the documents connected with the case could not be obtained from the SBI, Singapore for the DRI to carry out its probe. 'In the last three years, the PM has visited Singapore three times. During this period, the Singapore PM has also visited India. However, despite the PM having met the Singapore PM four times, he could not ensure that the documents available with the SBI, Singapore are made available to the DRI,' Mr Ramesh said. In this context, Mr Ramesh said that in may, 2016, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia wrote a letter to SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya that documnents pertaining to the Coal imports be given to the DRI. Four days later, the SBI chairman replied to Mr Adhia's letter cited the Singapore laws to say that the documents could not be given, Mr Ramesh said. 'The resolution of the matter has been held up because the SBI says that the Singapore law does not permit the sharing of the documents of the case with the DRI. Thus, the very sanctity of the Government is called into question,' he said.

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