Updated: October 11, 2021 7:19:03 am
Niharika Raje, wife of BJP MP Dushyant Singh and daughter-in-law of BJP leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, is named in the Pandora Papers as a “beneficial owner” of an entity in Belize, a tax haven in Central America.
According to records from Panamanian law firm Alcogal (Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee), Niharika Raje is a “beneficial owner” of Octavia Limited, incorporated in Belize.
A declaration by Panama-based trust Rendor Overseas SA on November 12, 2010, stated: “We have no beneficial interest in the holding of 1 ordinary share of USD 1 each standing in our name in the capital of Octavia Limited of 60 Market Square, Belize City, Belize…the whole of the said share being held for Niharika Raje of Lekha Vihar, Scindia Potteries, Near Bikaji Cama Place Flyover, 110066 New Delhi, India absolutely (hereinafter called the Beneficial Owner).”
The address, according to the Lok Sabha website, is that of the late Vijaya Raje Scindia, mother of Vasundhara Raje.
The Rendor Overseas declaration stated it would “execute the powers vested in us as the holders of the aforesaid share in such manner” as Niharika “may direct (including the appointment of proxies) and will account” to her “for all sums by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise as shall be received by us or to which we shall become entitled by reason of the aforesaid share”.
“In the event of our incapacity, our successors shall be bound by these covenants,” it stated.
🗞️ Read the best investigative journalism in India. Subscribe to The Indian Express e-Paper here.
Dushyant Singh’s declaration of his and Niharika’s assets and liabilities, made with his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections of 2009, 2014 and 2019, made no mention of Octavia Limited.
Rendor Overseas S.A. was also listed in the Panama Papers as one of the entities which was a shareholder of some other companies.
A search of the company registry of Belize now shows Octavia Limited as an “inactive” company.
Responding to queries from The Indian Express, Dushyant Singh, on behalf of his ailing wife, said: “This is in reply to your email…Mrs Niharika Raje has no relationship with any offshore company.”
Alcogal, responding to queries from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with which The Indian Express has collaborated on this investigation, said: “…Answering your questions, or rectifying or clarifying your statements, to the best of our ability, could result in a violation of laws, and our ethical duties to our clients. The law expressly prohibits us from publicly disclosing beneficial ownership or shareholder information, or confirming whether or not a SAR (suspicious activity report) has been filed, other than to the competent authorities.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.