CHANDIGARH, March 21: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh today asked as why the government of India was pursuing the issue of foreign accounts of his wife Ms Preneet Kaur and son Mr Raninder Singh only, while there were 1200 others also accused of having similar accounts.
Besides, he also pointed out, the purported account shown against the name of his wife and son was shown having “zero” balance. “How can it be possible to have an account that too in a Swiss Bank without any balance?” he asked.
“This was despite the fact that the HSBC authorities had already certified five years ago that they (Ms Kaur and Mr Raninder) did not have any account anywhere with it (the HSBC)”, he said, while addressing a press conference after attending the Congress Legislative Party meeting here today.
Capt Amarinder also announced that he will be seeking quashing of the complaint in the higher court, since it had no basis. “We cannot take it lying down and won’t allow ourselves to be blackmailed and we will call their bluff”, he asserted, while pointing out that they were deliberately raising the issue from time to time to malign him and his family in the election year as they had nothing against him.
The former Chief Minister reiterated his charges against the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely saying, it was an act of vendetta initiated deliberately at a time to coincide with the run up to the 2017 assembly elections by initiating a media trial.
He also showed three letters from the HSBC authorities certifying that neither Ms Preneet Kaur nor Mr Raninder Singh had any account in any of the branches of the HSBC anywhere in the world.
He also produced the copies of the two letters signed by the Managing Director of the HSBC Robert J Du Lessis and Director Stephen Barney, dated September 6, 2011, certifying that neither Mrs Preneet Kaur nor Raninder Singh had any account in the bank.
The two letters said, Mrs Preneet Kaur and Mr Raninder Singh “is not an account holder, nor was an account holder of any bank account with HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA (the “Bank”). The letter further clarified, “it is further certified that she/he is not and never was an authorised signatory on any accounts held with the Bank”.
Referring to the issue of the Jacaranda Trust India and Mulwala Holdings Limited, Capt Amarinder also produced copy of another letter issued by the HSBC Dubai, saying, there was not and never had been any accounts in the name of Jacaranda Trust India or Mulwala Holdings Limited in any of the branches of the HSBC Financial Services (Middle East) Limited.
He said, these documents had been submitted to the Income Tax authorities long back and they had initially stopped pursuing the matter. But, he maintained, since the elections were round the corner, they, the BJP and the Akalis, wanted to keep the issue alive during the elections although they know it too well that it will not stand anywhere in the court of law.