BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a probe against a senior Finance Ministry official whom billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly gifted gold worth Rs one crore on Diwali last year. Without naming the official, Swamy claimed that the servant of this bureaucrat , who resides in Moti Bagh in the posh NDMC area, opened the “gift’ in front of other officers who were visiting this government official to exchange Diwali greetings. The official later wrongly donated the gift in the ‘Toshkhana’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Swamy claimed.
The former union minister urged the prime minister to consider directing the CBI or the Enforcement Directorate to investigate the matter, besides registering a fresh case against Nirav Modi under the Prevention of Corruption Act in this connection. Also, the MP said a case should be registered against the public servant for not reporting the offence relating to illegal gratification and clandestine deposit of gold in the Toshakhana causing disappearance of evidence.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choski, promoter of Gitanjali Group, are accused in the Rs 12,600-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The letter comes a day after ‘The Wire’, an independent online publication, had claimed that Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia received two gold biscuits of 20 grams each from a mystery giver during Diwali in 2016 but he did not order an investigation into the identity and motive of the individual who evidently sought to influence him.
Adhia was quoted in the article as saying that he had got certain precious gifts but he did not accept it as it was against the Conduct Rules. “Since they were delivered at my house in my absence, I could not even refuse to accept them. And it is difficult for me to identify who sent these gifts for me now.
“I, therefore, want to surrender these gifts to the government which can be deposited in the Toshakhana for disposal through auction or as per rules. The list of items being surrendered is as follows: One new iPhone 7 and two gold biscuits of 20 grams each (MMTC mark)”. These items, Adhia told The Wire, were accordingly sent to the Toshakhana of the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) “as per the directions of the Cabinet Secretary.”