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Kripashankar case: Plea to keep Patnaik as SIT head in SC

August 27, 2012 21:00 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear on September 3 a plea of the Maharashtra government to continue with Arup Patnaik as chief of Special Investigating Team probing the alleged amassing of disproportionate assets by former Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh and his family members.

The plea in this regard was made before a bench comprising justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad by senior advocate Shekhar Napahde who said though Patnaik has been promoted as the director general of police he should be allowed to head the SIT in this case.

Patnaik was recently replaced as the Mumbai police commissioner and elevated to the rank of the DGP.

The Maharashtra government has placed before the Supreme Court two reports on the probe by the SIT in sealed covers about the alleged benami assets of Singh and his family member.

The first report was filed on April 16 in compliance with a March 13 order of the Supreme Court, which had asked Patnaik to conduct a probe and collect documentary evidence regarding all movable and immovable properties of Kripashankar and his family, including his wife, son, daughter-in-law and daughter while seeking a report in a sealed envelope.

The apex court had earlier refused to stay the probe against Singh and his family members but put an interim stay on the process of attaching and seizure of their properties. It had also restrained the politician and his family members from "alienating, transferring or dealing with properties" enumerated in the petition against them during the pendency of the case and directed them to file an affidavit within three days giving an undertaking for the same.

The apex court had passed the order on petitions filed by Kripashankar and his family members seeking a stay on the Bombay high court order of February 22 directing the then city police commissioner to prosecute them for "criminal misconduct" under Prevention of Corruption Act.   

The Bombay high court had also directed the police to attach the immovable properties of the Congress MLA. Challenging the high court's order, they said the order was passed on a petition, which was politically motivated.

The bench had in its order also said if required the Mumbai police commissioner can approach the competent authority for seeking sanction for prosecution of Kripashankar Singh.

The Bombay high court had passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by activist Sanjay Tiwari who alleged the Congress MLA had amassed wealth disproportionate to known sources of his income.

The high court, while keeping the PIL pending, had directed the CP to file a compliance report on April 19.     

Tiwari has alleged in the petition that Kripashankar had been close to former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda, currently in jail for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore rupee hawala scam. He alleged several monetary transactions had taken place between them.

Kripashankar's son Narendra Mohan is married to Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, who was a minister in the Koda cabinet, and is now in jail in connection with a hawala scam.

Ankita had received Rs 1.75 crore in her account from Kamlesh, the PIL said, adding there were huge transactions from the bank accounts of Kripashankar's wife Malti Devi too.



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