Interim CBI Director M Nageswara Rao on Tuesday defended financial transactions between his wife and a Kolkata-based private company following allegations of “unaccounted money”.
The Indian Express on Monday had reported that records maintained by the Registrar of Companies showed several financial transactions between Rao’s wife Mannem Sandhya and the firm, Angela Mercantile Private Limited, between 2011 and 2014. The report had claimed that Sandhya had borrowed Rs 25 lakh from the company in the financial year ending March 2011. Between 2012 and 2014, she gave loans worth Rs 1.14 crore to the company in three tranches.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, Rao said: “In 2010, my wife Smt. Mannem Sandhya took a loan of Rs 25 lakhs from M/s Angela Mercantile Pvt Ltd, owned by Shri Praween Agarwal, a long time family friend. This sum was used in joint purchase of a property in Guntur, AP.Smt Mannem Sandhya later in the year 2011 sold her ancestral agricultural land of 11-17 acres for a sum of Rs 58.62 lakhs and transferred it to M/s Angela Mercatile Pvt. Ltd. which after deducting the loan amount of Rs 25 lakhs, and adding interest, a sum of Rs 41,33,165 was returned to Smt. Mannem Sandhya in July 2014. Due intimations were given to competent authorities immediately.”
With this money, Sandhya and her cousin jointly purchased a property in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, he said. It was purchased jointly with her cousin, orthopaedic surgeon K Ratna Babu, and not her brother Ch Ratna Babu, who lives in the United States of America, Rao added.
“Therefore, the question of any unaccounted money does not arise at all,” he said, adding that complete details of his and his family’s properties have been submitted in his Annual Property Returns to the Government for all years. “Lastly, I deny all other reports as they are incorrect and untrue,” he said.
Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer who is a Joint Director, was given the interim charge of looking after the duties of the CBI Director after the agency's chief Alok Kumar Verma was divested of his duties and sent on leave by the government.