No graft, Jay Shah fit for ED probe

BJP president Amit Shah has so far not answered the questions raised by the revelations made by a news portal about the finances of a company owned by his son Jay Shah, but has tried to explain issues that were not raised in the report at all. It took a few days for Amit Shan to make his defence and when he did, he put up a wrong defence -- against a charge that was not made in the first place. The report had stated that the turnover of Jay Shah’s company had increased by 16,000 times in a year after the BJP came to power at the Centre. It had also said that a PSU had given a loan of Rs 10.35 crore to another company part-owned by Jay Shah. The revelations made in the report were based on facts available in the public domain as they were obtained from official sources like the Registrar of Companies.

Shah said that the question of corruption did not arise in any activities or dealings of the company and so there was no need for an investigation. No-one has made a charge of corruption. Jay Shah is not a government official against whom charges of bribery or other violations of rules have been levelled. So, in the broad sense of the term, no corruption is involved in the matter. What may be deduced from the facts presented in the report is the possibility of money laundering. It may be a fit case for investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The financial dealings of the company as reported by the news portal belong to the ED’s domain. The Modi government has gone after thousands of companies and their directors on the suspicion that these are shell companies used for money laundering. There is a prima facie case for such an investigation against Jay Shah’s company.

Amit Shah and the other BJP leaders protested too much. Shah even appears to assert that the filing of a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against the news portal by his son is proof of the absence of any wrongdoing. If everything about the company is right and proper, why should there be any objection to an investigation? What prevents Jay Shah from presenting a detailed financial statement of the company, including its balance sheet and cash flow figures, to show that everything is above board? Instead, Amit Shah and others have peremptorily denied any wrongdoing and do not want even a public discussion on the matter. The media is being threatened into silence over it. That itself works against the good certificate issued by Amit Shah and others to Jay Shah.

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