New Delhi: CBI’s interim director M Nageswara Rao has dismissed all reports of alleged financial transactions between his wife and a trading company and has stated that the question of “unaccounted money does not arise at all.”
Some reports had suggested that records maintained by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) point to a series of financial transactions between Rao’s wife and Angela Mercantile Private Ltd (AMPL), a Kolkata-based trading company, from financial years ending 2011 to 2014.
According to the reports, Rao’s wife M Sandhya borrowed Rs 25 lakh from AMPL in the financial year ending March 2011.
The records show that between financial years ending 2012 and 2014, 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.
However, Nageswara Rao has now stated that the loan by his wife was taken from “a longtime friend” to buy a property in joint name in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and all disclosures have been made in the annual property returns filed.
“In 2010, my wife took a loan of Rs 25 lakh from Ms Angela Mercantile Private Limited owned by Sri Praveen Agarwal, a longtime family friend. This sum was used in joint purchase of a property in Guntur,” he said.
“My wife later in the year 2011 sold her ancestral agricultural land of 11 to 17 acres for a sum of Rs 58.62 lakh and transferred it to Angela Mercantile Private Limited, which after deducting the loan amount of Rs 25 lakh and adding interest, a sum of Rs 41,33,165, was returned to my wife in July 2014,” clarified Rao.
Agarwal had also stated that there was nothing wrong in “giving loans or accepting some investment from a person who was a family friend.”
Rao has now stated that “due intimations were given to competent authorities” and that “the question of unaccounted money does not arise at all.”
Elaborating on the chronology of events that shows the transactions between Rao’s wife and the private trading company, he stated that, “the joint property was bought along with her brother Dr K Ratan Babu, a well-known orthopedic surgeon in Guntur.”
He further stated that reporters must have confused Dr Babu with Ch. Ratan Babu of USA who happens to be the half-brother of Rao’s wife.
Rao, an Odisha-cadre IPS officer, took charge of the CBI on an interim basis last Tuesday night after Director Alok Verma was asked to go on leave along with the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana following a bitter fallout between the two.
He was in the CRPF between 2008 and 2011. He returned to Odisha in 2012 before being posted at the Centre as CBI Joint Director in April 2016.
On October 26, during a hearing on CBI Director Alok Verma’s petition challenging his forced leave, the top court said that decisions taken by Rao since October 23 till date shall not be implemented.
“All decisions taken by Rao shall be placed before the apex court in a sealed cover”, the court through CJI Ranjan Gogoi had said.
Rao has gone ahead and stated that should any confusion persist, “complete details of properties” of his family and his own belonging have been submitted in his “annual property return to the government for all years which are available for download on the ministry of home affairs website.”