In a veiled attack at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Monday accused Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of allowing fugitive diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi to leave India. Surjewala's allegation came hours after media early in the day accessed to a sensitive income tax investigation report, which red-flagged questionable loans, over-valuation of stocks and suspicious payments by the millionaire businessmen more than eight months before they fled the country.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Surjewala asked if Modi Ji and Jaitley Ji were aware of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi then how did they run away.
"Information that Nirav Modi is about to flee the country after fraud of Rs 23,000 cr was there with Modi govt through I-T Dept report 8 months before Nirav Modi ran away.If Modi ji and Jaitley ji knew about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, then how did they run away?," ANI quoted Surjewala as saying.
"From June 2017 when this report came till May 2018, when all these fugitives ran away, Sushil Chandra was Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under which Income Tax Dept works. What was his role in helping Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi run away?," the Congress spokesperson asked.
Randeep Surjewala, Congress: From June’17 when this report came till May'18, when all these fugitives ran away, Sushil Chandra was Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under which Income Tax Dept works.What was his role in helping Nirav Modi&Mehul Choksi run away? https://t.co/E0EHzqhgJ2— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2018
As per the investigating agencies, Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, in connivance with certain bank officials, allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore through issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).
These LoUs were allegedly issued in a fraudulent manner by a Mumbai branch of the PNB to the group of companies belonging to Modi since March 2011 till the case came to light.