Poll panel asked to probe Amar Singh’s ‘donation’ to Clinton Trust

February 9th, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 9 (IANS) Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh has been accused of having used ‘hawala’ channels to transfer illegal money to the Clinton Foundation in the US, according to a petition filed with the Election Commission Monday.

Vishwanath Chaturvedi, who had earlier moved a public suit on Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s alleged disproportionate assets, filed this petition before the Chief Election Commissioner in New Delhi Monday.

Accusing Amar Singh of having donated more than $10 million (more than Rs.43 crore) to the William J. Clinton Foundation run by the former US president, Chaturvedi in his plea has pointed out, “In his affidavit dated Nov 6, 2008, filed before the Election Commission, Amar Singh has disclosed his net assets to the tune of Rs.37 crore (Rs.370 million).”

“So, from where did he donate Rs.43 crore?” Chaturvedi asked.

The petitioner sought to know “whether Singh disclosed the donated amount in his returns or took the mandatory permission of the Reserve Bank of India, which is a must in all such foreign transactions.”

Copies of the complaint have been sent to the Director of Enforcement and the Reserve Bank of India.

While the original complaint was made on Jan 30, 2008, Chaturvedi released a copy to the media Monday following the CEC’s suggestion that such a complaint could be made only to the returning officer of the Rajya Sabha, of which Singh was a member.

“I have sought to draw the attention of the CEC to the fact that the returning officer’s role concludes once the election is over. Therefore, the CEC must take cognizance of a complaint, which is of a serious nature,” Chaturvedi told IANS.

Urging the CEC to suspend Singh’s membership of the Rajya Sabha for making a “false declaration” before the Election Commission, Chaturvedi has also demanded invocation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, that prohibits such illegal money transfers.

“It was clearly evident that Singh had not only given false information regarding his wealth, but also made the transaction in contravention of section 3 of FEMA, for which a separate prosecution should be made before the Adjudicating Authority for abusing the national interest,” Chaturvedi said.

Singh’s donation was clearly shown in the Clinton Foundation’s list of donors, he pointed out to the CEC.

– Indo-Asian News Service


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