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Kripashankar Singh saga: were the bureaucrats asleep?

It’s an extraordinary rags-to-riches tale. Kripashankar Singh, a vegetable vendor in the 1970s, is accused (along with other members of his family) in 2012 of owning Rs 320 crore of assets disproportionate to his known and declared sources of income.

Kripashankar Singh faces arrest after the SIT seized properties owned by him and his family. Reacting to reports saying he was untraceable, Kripashankar said he was not running away. Talking to CNN-IBN, Kripashankar said, "Law will takes its own course, I am not running away, I am innocent. I will fight my battle in court."

This scale of evasion and concealment of income was, perhaps, easy when his income graph began, in the 1970s, but is almost impossible to understand today.

 Kripashankar Singh saga: were the bureaucrats asleep?

Kripashankar Singh. IBNlive

Amongst the assets attached in raids conducted yesterday are:

• Three flats in Sai Prasad building in Bandra (East) Mumbai, one in his name and two suspected to be in benami names
• 5,000 sq ft bungalow in Carter Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai
• 1,335 sq ft duplex with 550 sq ft terrace in Jupiter building, Vile Parle
• 700 sq ft flat in Kingston building, Powai
• 22,500 sq ft office space in HDIL building, Bandra Kurla Complex
• Triplex flat in under-construction building in Mount Mary Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai
• 2 BMWs

More details of attached properties can be found here.

For transactions of this size and scale  — and for assets such as properties and cars — there are a number of government departments that are automatically involved. For example, you need a bank transaction to close the purchase of any property described in the list of attached assets – and the Reserve Bank of India AND the Income Tax department ought routinely to have been informed. If they were indeed informed, why didn’t they raise a red flag?

For all the properties, registration is compulsory and stamp duty has to be paid for. Why was there no flag at these establishments?

How were the BMWs paid for? In cash, which is against the law, or by cheque? If they were paid for by cheque, again the RBI and the IT departments come into play.

The law will, indeed, take its course as far as Kripashankar Singh and his family members are concerned. While doing so, the law should also arrive at how the government departments that ought to have seen this coming did not do so.

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Updated Date: Mar 03, 2012 13:19:28 IST

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