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Probe Indians’ slush funds abroad: Jethmalani
Mumbai, Apr 15 (IANS):
Published on 15 Apr. 2010 11:35 PM IST
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Eminent lawyer and former Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani Thursday demanded a probe by a special investigation team into the alleged slush funds of Indians lying in foreign banks abroad.
Citing media reports, Jethmalani said that over $1,500 billion was lying abroad in foreign banks, but the government has not done anything about it.
“Why cannot a special investigation team be appointed to trace out these huge funds which could go for the betterment of the country?” Jethmalani said at a press conference here.
In this context, he said that as per official records, Pune-based billionaire stud farm owner Hasan Ali owed the government a whopping Rs.37,000 crore in income tax dues in 2007, while media reports said he had over Rs.8.2 billion stashed away in Swiss bank accounts.
“This is something alarming, just imagine the tax demand. From where did he (Ali) acquire so much money? Why is the government not conducting an inquiry into these aspects?” Jethmalani asked.
He also cited other reports, including in some foreign journals, making other sensational claims involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her late husband, the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The senior lawyer also alleged that Ali was present at a meeting when the appointment of Hasan Gafoor as Mumbai police commissioner was being discussed.
“What is more alarming and shocking is that Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, was also present at the meeting - and this thing, Hassan Ali has confessed himself,” he said.
“What was he (Patel) doing there, what legitimate reason can there be for his mixing with Hassan Ali?” Jethmalani asked.
Ali has been in the news after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presented a CD, containing content allegedly linking him with several top leaders like union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Home Minister R.R. Patil, in the state assembly earlier this week.
Following the allegations, Patil promptly ordered a CID inquiry into the origins of the CD and vowed to quit from his post if the charges against him were proved. Deshmukh has dismissed the allegations while Bhujbal is silent over the issue.

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