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When will Kripashankar Singh be convicted?

After former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda has been proven guilty of corruption and criminal conspiracy in the coal scam, questions are being raised about when action will be taken against senior Congress leader Kripashankar Singh for amassing disproportionate wealth. Kripashankar and his family have amassed Rs 95.03 crore, of which Rs 18.96 crore is allegedly disproportionate. Singh is also known to have doled out 349 arms licenses out of which 102 went to his friend R N Singh. Singh’s son is married to the daughter of former Jharkhand Minister Kamlesh Singh, who has also been raided by the Income Tax and Economic Offence Department (IT/ED) in connection with Madhu Koda’s money laundering racket. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activist Dinanath Tiwari has accused Singh and his family of amassing wealth and assets by using his connections with Koda. Tiwari had alleged that Kripashankar Singh had by virtue of his role as Congress in-charge of Jharkhand played a vital role in installing Koda as the chief minister.

After the ED raided Balaji Group in Mumbai, Singh’s link with Koda’s scam was revealed. Singh suffered another setback when Income Tax authorities disclosed that he had quoted different PAN numbers in the affidavits submitted to the Election Commission in 2004 and 2009. Singh’s affidavit, posted on the Election Commission’s website, mentions his Income Tax PAN number declared in 2004 as AVAPS1485L, while in 2009 election, it is CFYPS989P. Thus there is a huge disparity pertaining to the information submitted by Singh to the Election Commission. A Permanent Account Number allotted to an individual cannot change during his lifetime. Any change in the address or city would entail a change in the assessing officer but not the number.

When AV spoke to eminent personalities they demanded stringent action against Singh. They added that if Singh is proven guilty then he must be barred from contesting elections. Many of them said that there should be zero tolerance policy against those legislators who are proven guilty of corruption charges.

Brigadier Sudhir Sawant said, “Corruption activities had increased during Manmohan Singh’s reign as Prime Minister. The erstwhile UPA government was looting the country, an act which is now being followed by the incumbent BJP government. Madhu Koda had swindled money, allotted for various development works and illegally transferred them to several bank accounts. Stringent punishment should be awarded to him. Action must be taken against Kripashankar Singh too as he is the co-conspirator along with Madhu Koda. Legislators misuse their powers to twist the system.”

Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of State for Home said, “Action must be taken against Madhu Koda as per the provision of the law. The accused responsible for indulging in Coal Scam must not roam scot free after committing the crime. Harsh punishment must be awarded to legislators indulging in scams.”

Mangesh Kudalkar, Shiv Sena MLA said, “Strict punishment must be awarded to Kripashankar Singh and we will take this matter with the Chief Minister. Since Madhu Koda has been proven guilty action must be taken against him too.”

Prashant Thakur, BJP MLA said, “All investigations must be carried out in a time bound manner and chargesheet must be filed against the accused. Due to advancement of technology a case can be investigated within two to three months. The Kripashankar Singh case has been dragged on for several years and no major headway has been made yet.”

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