Interim CBI director M Nageswara Rao on Tuesday issued an official statement denying any wrongdoing in financial transactions by his wife.
The Odisha cadre IPS officer said his wife, Mannem Sandhya, “took a loan of Rs 25 lakh from M/S Angela Mercantile Pvt Ltd, owned by Shri Praween Agarwal, a long-time family friend”.
He said the money was used to purchase land in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
“Mannem Sandhya later in 2011 sold her ancestral agricultural land of 11-17 acre for Rs 58.62 lakh and transferred it to M/S Angela Mercantile Pvt Ltd which after deducting loan amount of Rs 25 lakh and adding interest, a sum of Rs 41,33,165 were returned to Smt Mannem Sandhya in July 2014. Due intimations were given to competent authorities immediately,” Rao said in a signed statement.
On October 29, The Indian Express had reported that records maintained by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) point to a series of financial transactions between Mannem Sandhya and Angela Mercantiles Private Ltd (AMPL), between fiscals 2011 and 2014.
RoC records show Sandhya borrowed Rs 25 lakh from AMPL in the financial year ending March 2011. They show between 2011-12 and 2013-14, Sandhya gave loans amounting to Rs 1.14 crore to AMPL in three tranches —- Rs 35.56 lakh in FY 12, Rs 38.27 lakh in FY 13 and Rs 40.29 lakh in FY 14.
Kolkata-based Praween Agarwal, listed in RoC records as a director of AMPL, told The Indian Express over phone, “…I know him (Rao) for a long time — (from the time) when he was an officer in Odisha. They are like family. What is wrong if you give loans or accept some investment from a person you know as family friend?”
Rao said after selling ancestral property for Rs 58.62 lakh, Sandhya added Rs 1.38 lakh from personal savings and sent the funds to AMPL, which deducted Rs 25 lakh loan and kept the rest as investment.
This investment, Rao said, was returned by AMPL with interest as a sum of Rs 41,33,165. Rao also said that all properties owned by him are declared to the Home Ministry and are available on its website. “The question of unaccounted money does not arise,” Rao stated.
He also denied any other report published anywhere as false without going into specifics.