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Yielding to pressure from the Opposition and social activists, a top corporate affairs ministry official on Thursday said the offices of the Registrar of Companies (RoC) had begun a probe into the recent allegations pertaining to business dealings of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, as also those against Bharatiya Janata Party head, Nitin Gadkari.
MCA Secretary Naved Masood told Business Standard: “Everything is being looked into... all the matters are being looked into.” He would not specify the nature of violations the offices of RoC were probing. “My lips are sealed beyond this,” he said.
Earlier, Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily said the department had verified all the six companies associated with Vadra and there was “no question of investigation, as there is no violation of the Companies Act”.
Members of the India Against Corruption (IAC) group recently alleged companies run by Vadra had acquired property worth Rs 300 crore, aided by interest free loans of Rs 65 crore given by realty major DLF. IAC member Arvind Kejriwal had argued DLF seemed to have showered favours on Vadra to influence the Congress-ruled governments of Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. Vadra, DLF and the three governments have denied these allegations and any wrongdoing.
The secretary’s remarks came two days after Moily told the media he’d instructed the RoCs to investigate the financial dealings of the Gadkari companies, kicking off a row, with opposition parties alleging double standards and kid-gloved treatment of Vadra.
Senior officials in the ministry confirmed an RoC had started investigations on the allegations made against Gadkari. The income tax department’s offices in Mumbai and Pune have also started investigation into Gadkari’s Purti Group of companies, on the source of funds and of 18 companies that had invested in Gadkari’s.
The BJP chief is facing charges of allowing investments from companies that had given false addresses. He has also been accused of awarding contracts to Ideal Road Builders Pvt Ltd as public works department minister of Maharashtra in 1995-99; the company is said to have invested money in the equity of companies run by Gadkari. IRB became a subsidiary of IRB Infrastructure in 2006-07. In a detailed response, IRB has denied the charges and said the investments were made when Gadkari was not in office.