The Aam Aadmi Party, it seems has become controversy’s favourite child, the latest being Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain coming under the scanner of Income Tax Department for allegedly transferring over 16 crores through ‘hawala’ channels. ‘Hawala’ is an illegal system of transferring money whereby the funds are paid to an agent who then instructs his associates to pay the money to the recipient. The minister with ‘hawala’ links has been asked to appear before the Income Tax Department on 4 October.
The IT Department claims that four companies belonging to Satyendra Jain — Indo Metal Impax, Paryas Info Solution, Akinchan Developers and Manglyatan — transferred Rs 16.39 crore through ‘hawala’. In return, the minister allegedly received cheques issued to these companies, according to the IT department. The summons issued to Jain under section 131 (1) of the Income Tax Act 1961, by Deepak Garg, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax states, “Whereas your attendance is required in connection with the proceedings under the IT Act in the cases of Indo-Metal Impex Private Limited (for assessment year 2011-12 and 2012-13), Prayas Infosolutions Private Limited for assessment year of 2012-13 and Akinchan Developers Private Limited for assessment year 2011-12 and 2012-13.” As a proof of wrongdoing, the Income Tax officials have recorded statement of Kolkata’s ‘hawala’ accused Jeevendra Mishra who has reportedly spilled beans before investigators.
The question is: can AAP play the victim card as in the past, when its own minister has been summoned by the IT department in relation to four companies with ‘hawala’ dubious transactions? We all know that Delhi Chief Minister and
National Convener of AAP, Arvind Kejriwal, has served as Joint Commissioner of the IT Department and knows the implications and legality of the notice. He fully well knows that investment in India may not be a crime but transactions through ‘hawala’ fall in the category of crime. But when he tweeted “I summoned Satinder this morning. Saw all papers. He is innocent, being framed. If he were guilty, we wud have thrown him out. We stand by him,” it took everyone by surprise. After all, Kejriwal had entered politics on the promise of cleansing the body political but his party functionaries have allegedly been involved in all kind of scandals, controversies and criminal acts. He is the same Chief Minister who had come out with a list of 13 most corrupt politicians in the country. And the same Chief Minister is giving a clean chit to his minister in the backdrop of such a serious charge.