In an attempt to “roll over unaccounted cash”, former Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Kripashankar Singh and his family members willingly incurred huge losses by investing in commodities, provided and procured unsecured loans to and from Bollywood personalities, top builders and politicians, held benami properties in a suburban housing complex and received 101 cheques as birthday gifts, according to the chargesheet filed by a special investigation team of the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police.
The chargesheet, which names Kripashankar and five members of his family, was filed last month. When contacted, Kripashankar said: “It is a matter of the court and I do not wish to comment now”. An email questionnaire was sent to him, but he did not respond.
According to the chargesheet, Kripashankar’s wife, Maltidevi, began trading in the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) in 2008 and incurred losses of Rs 37.53 lakh within a year. Stating that Maltidevi had “no knowledge, experience, expertise in the business of commodity market”, it says her son, Narendramohan Singh, traded in her name “because of his belief in luck factor”.
The trading was allegedly a “face saving exercise… an attempt to regularise ill gotten money and to create a source of income to roll over the ill gotten money.”
The SIT mentions unsecured and outstanding loans of Rs 25 lakh between Narendramohan and actor Salman Khan.
It also raises questions on Maltidevi and Narendramohan’s role in the purchase of two flats in Aquamarine Society in Bandra West, which were eventually acquired by Salman Khan’s parents, Salma and Salim Khan.
According to the chargesheet, Kripashankar’s family also owned three benami flats in Shree Sai Prasad Cooperative Housing Society in Bandra East, the same apartment complex where they live. These flats were reportedly rented out by third party owners known to them, to M/S Sunbeam Facilities Private Ltd.
Kripashankar’s daughter, Sunita Singh, reportedly carried out numerous transactions with firms run by the Hiranandani Group (flats in Powai), HDIL (flats in Bandra) and Ansal properties in Lucknow, where she purchased properties below the market rate. Investigators found that she filed her financial returns for three years only after a PIL was filed in November 2010. Despite an income of Rs 2.67 crore, her total disproportionate assests work out to Rs 22.17 lakh.
According to the chargesheet, Narendramohan “forged” about 12 stamp papers and is being booked for cheating and forgery. These included two given to film producer-director Anurag Kashyap in 2009, for producing the film Udaan. According to the chargesheet, Narendramohan asked Kashyap if he required office premises in 2007, when he was making Dev D.
An office space in Andheri-West, owned by another director, was rented out to Kashyap, who remains in posession of the property. In the following years, according to the chargesheet, Narendramohan “showed interest” in financing the Rs 3 crore film, Udaan, along with UTV and an agreement was executed between the duo on March 5, 2009.
“However to ascertain the genuineness of the agreement, two non-judicial stamp papers were executed, the record of it was called from the stamp vendor. As such the stamp papers have been prepared by the accused either to falsely show the execution of respective transaction or to validate transaction that has never taken place. It is further revealed that this document has been prepared with back date to show retrospective effect of such transactions,” says the chargesheet.
When questioned, Kashyap reportedly said that though the paper contained his signatures, it was drafted by Narendramohan’s lawyers and was brought to his office. “He (Kashyap) did not read the contents of this agreement,” it says.
The chargesheet also names Krishan Kumar of T-Series as one of the 13 people/ entities that Narendramohan has taken a loan from.
During investigations, it was reportedly revealed that Narendramohan received Rs 15.5 crore from Kumar. The chargesheet says Narendramohan had promised to give Kumar a flat at Bandstand, Bandra (W) and the total cost was about Rs 12-13 crore. Hence, Kumar issued four cheques to the tune of Rs 1.6 crore in favour of Narendramohan.
“Though Kumar said the payment of the said flat was made to the accused, he failed to explain about the location and provide any documentary evidence of the transaction,” says the chargesheet.
The chargesheet says Narendramohan also purchased two flats in Vile Parle for less than the market value.
Another unsecured and outstanding loan of Rs 20 lakh from a Nashik-based hotelier, Amit Digvijay Singh, “who knows Narendramohan since long back”, was given to the accused for “personal needs”, says the SIT.
While the PIL against Kripashankar had claimed disproportionate assets of over Rs 320 crore, the chargesheet says the family “possesses assets disproportionate to their known source of income upto 19.95%”.
The SIT also found that Rs 22.3 lakh was received in the bank accounts of Kripashankar, Maltidevi and Narendramohan between July and August 2004 in the form 101 cheques for Rs 25,000-50,000. These cheques have been explained as birthday gifts from donors on the occasion of Kripashankar’s birthday on July 31. The chargesheet notes that “in most of the cases, the gifters have signed the cheques and handed over to some common men. As such, it is clear that the above said cheques were engineered to roll-over unaccounted cash.”
Some donors examined by the SIT reportedly said the a few days before they signed the cheques, some money was credited to their account, and the name of the cheque bearer and the amount was not in their handwriting.