Raids just a smoke-screen: Cong
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday described as an "eyewash" the raids by agencies in the Rs 11,400-crore PNB bank fraud and said the prime minister and the finance minister should answer the country on how the scam happened and the accused escaped, instead of creating a "smoke-screen".
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government should tell who facilitated the escape of accused designer jeweller Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi, despite a court order declaring Choksi as an "absconder" and a proclaimed offender.
He said "fresh revelations" have come in the matter and the court of chief judicial magistrate had on August 4, 2017 declared Mehul Choksi, the managing director of Gitanjali Jewellery, and Vipul Chaitalia, the company's authorised signatory, as proclaimed offender and "absconding".
"How was this man allowed to leave the country? The question arises that how can a person who is a declared proclaimed offender and absconder by a court of law be allowed to leave the country and we would like to ask the NDA-BJP Government.
"We would like to ask the PM of India and the finance minister of India that who facilitated the exit of this man from the country despite the order of a competent court which brings us to certain other questions that we would like to ask," he told reporters.
Tewari said PM "speaks on everything, referring himself as 'Chowkidar' (watchman) of the country and its 'Pradhan Sevak' (servant). "But we would like him to answer some questions on issues that are critical and the country is demanding answers," the Congress leader said. Tewari demanded that the government should issue a white paper on the health of the banking sector and a complete list of all NPAs of banks should be published on their website to enable people who have invested money in these banks to know their fiscal health.
On the country-wide raids launched by various agencies in the bank scam case, he asked, "Who are they attempting to fool? This is an activity merely for the sake of activity for creating a smoke-screen for trying to give an illusion of action when the horses have already bolted." He said if the government needed to act, it should have acted earlier when they had court orders declaring people as 'proclaimed offenders' and as 'absconders', and stopped them from fleeing the country. "This activity is merely an eye-wash. It is for the benefit of cameras," he alleged.
Tewari demanded answers from the PM on Amit Shah's son's company, the Rafale price at which the aircraft were purchased, the purchase of stake by ONGC in Gujarat Petroleum Corporation and on the issue of death of Justice Loya, asking "why he has not answered questions.