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Monday 27 January 2020

RK Sinha seeks privilege proceedings against Express & associates

New Delhi: BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP RK Sinha, who was allegedly named in “Paradise Papers”, has written a letter on Tuesday to the Chairman of the Upper House M Venkaiah Naidu and requested to initiate Privilege Proceedings against the media house and its journalists concerned.

In his letter to Naidu, he has requested to initiate privilege proceedings against Vivek Goenka, chairman of Indian Express Group, Rajkamal Jha, chief editor, of the newspaper and two journalists  Ritu Sarin and Shyamlal Yadav, who was part of investigating team.

In a letter (copy in the adjoining image), the Rajya Sabha MP has rebutted, point by point, the report alleging that he had made illegal overseas investments.

Taking strong exception to the report touted as the “Paradise Papers” published by The Indian Express, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on 6 November, the doyen of the private security and intelligence industry has explained his position with respect to the meagre — yet accounted for — investments made overseas.

The BJP MP has written that he has done nothing “that might be construed as tax evasion, money laundering, offshore assets/cash parking.

Sinha has named in the letter all the finance-related laws of the country that he has complied with. They include the Companies Act, Income Tax Act, SCRA, Stamp Act, FIPB, FEMA, etc.

The MP has rubbished the allegation that he had not disclosed whatever little is invested in his name abroad at the time of filing his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha as “baseless”. As such, he has implied, it is not an office of profit: “I hold no direct beneficial interest,” he has written to the RS chairman.

Sinha has also questioned The Indian Express for misleading its readers by making them believe Malta is a tax haven. It is not, Sinha has clarified, pointing out that the said country entered a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with India, which a tax haven cannot do.

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