CHANDIGARH, August 4: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Arvind Khanna today rubbished the charges levelled against him by Simranjit Singh Mann. Replying to his charges levelled in a complaint to the Director General of Police, Khanna said, Mann seems to have lost his mental balance for levelling such wild and baseless allegations.
“He should better have done his homework first before levelling such allegations on me”, Khanna remarked in a rejoinder to his charges and ask him to withdraw these and tender an unconditional public apology lest he face criminal defamation.
Referring to Mann’s allegation that he was a British Citizen when he contested assembly and parliamentary elections from Sangrur in 2002 and 2004 respectively, Khanna said, he is very much an Indian citizen and holds an Indian passport.Moreover, he also released a letter from the British Home Ministry confirming that Arvind Khanna, born on May 29, 1967 has never applied or received a British passport.
Khanna also released the copies of his Indian passport since the age of ten which clearly establish his Indian citizenship. Besides, the passport has been stamped with British visas with entry and exit stamps. “Had I been possessing a British passport why should I need to get a visa as also entry-exit stamps on my Indian passport”, he asked.
On the issue of the CBI chargesheet filed in a Delhi court under FCRA, he said, since the matter is subjudice and he had full faith in the country’s judicial system he did not want to comment. However in order to set the record straight, he said, the case relates to the transfer of about Rs 7 crores by his father through legal banking channels as the amount was credited to his bank account in a transparent and legal manner. There was only a procedural oversight that the RBI had not been informed about the transaction in advance with the sole assumption that such huge transaction naturally come under RBI scrutiny.
About his defence company having been blacklisted for the supply of arms to India and Pakistan, he said, the Delhi High Court had not only acquitted his company of the charges and given it a clean chit but had also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the ministry of defence for falsely implicating his company in the case.
He said, his company TSL is a defence company registered with the ministry of defence Government of India and has been doing manufacturing activity in a transparent manner.
On the allegations against his brother Aditya Khanna, he said, he had already been given clean chit by the Justice RS Pathak Commission which probed the allegations based on Volker Committee report.
Khanna said, it was surprising from the contents of the complaint that Simranjit Singh Mann, a proclaimed Khalistani and an anti-national was worried about the national interest! “It is heartening to learn that Mann has had a change of heart probably just because he is a jilted politician who feels that I was responsible for his being thrown out of Sangrur parliamentary constituency in 2004 elections”, Khanna remarked, while adding, Mann speaking in India’s interest is really intriguing.
Khanna said, he had already served a legal notice on Mann and if he does not withdraw his charges and tender a public apology he will be filing a criminal defamation against him. He said, a person who has been responsible for the murder of thousands of Punjabi youth whose sentiments he exploited and sold out and got crores of rupees in donation from abroad has no right to question others credentials.
Asserting that he did not need a certificate of integrity from a discredited and had been politician like Mann, he asked him as what happened to the crores of rupees he collected from abroad in 1991 for setting up Dashmesh College in Talwandi Sabo, which never came up. Moreover, he pointed out, he has been serving the people of Sangrur for last 15 years through politics and social work through his Umeed Foundation. He said, “I can say it with pride and confidence that there is not a single allegation against me that I have taken any under favour from anyone”.