Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday alleged that the central government had information about diamantaire Nirav Modi's plans to flee the country eight months in advance.
"Information that Nirav Modi is about to flee the country after fraud of Rs 23,000 crore was there with the (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government through an Income Tax department report eight months before he ran away. The report was not shared with Serious Fraud Investigation Office, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or police. If Modi ji and Jaitley ji knew about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi then how did they run away?" he asked.
Raising questions against a senior bureaucrat, Surjewala alleged that the said official was given two extensions while he kept sitting on the report of the fugitives. "From June '17 when this report came till May '18, by when all these fugitives had run away, Sushil Chandra was Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under which the IT department works. What was his role in helping Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi running away?" he asked.
The Congress allegations have come following Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's fresh salvo at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stating that the party gave "three Modis to the nation- Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and the one sitting in Ambani's lap Narendra Modi."
Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had claimed that the absconding fugitives swindled money from banks with the "blessings" of the current government at the Centre.
"The government has already found a way to save people like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. When they had information about the fugitives year ago, they didn't send any agency for a probe, rather they allowed them to escape. With current government and Modi ji's blessings, they took money from banks and ran away," Kharge had said.
Questioning the intent of the Centre in dealing with the defaulters, the Congress leader further stated that despite the Opposition having raised the issue several times in Parliament, the government didn't respond to it.