Reliance denies Kejriwal's allegations
India's largest private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Friday denied charges levelled against it by social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal and said neither the company nor its chairman Mukesh Ambani has any 'illegitimate accounts anywhere in the world'.
"Reliance Industries Limited denies all allegations made by IAC (India Against Corruption) against Reliance and Mr. Mukesh Ambani in their press conference today," the diversified conglomerate said in a statement.
"Neither Reliance Industries Limited nor Mr. Mukesh Ambani have or had any illegitimate accounts anywhere in the world," it said.
"Reliance Industries Limited has business interests in several countries with turnover of thousands of crores in Rupees. As a part of their normal business, these international subsidiaries of Reliance Industries Limited deal with several global banks including HSBC," read the RIL statement.
"These accounts are fully compliant with all regulations and are disclosed in their appropriate jurisdictions and in India. The continued tirade of baseless allegations being made by IAC against us appears to be instigated by vested interests," it said.
Kejriwal in his latest exposure named Congress MP Anu Tandon, who is close to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, as one of the Swiss bank account holders along with names of Reliance brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani and Jet Airways owner Naresh Goyal who he claimed operated through HSBC Bank which is "facilitating hawala transactions and money laundering in India".
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said he was tipped off by a senior Congress leader himself on this and alleged that the government instead of cracking down is trying to save the account holders.
"The government of Manmohan Singh is a threat to the country's sovereignty," he said, adding that HSBC Bank is a threat to India and it can also channelize money for terrorism in India given its illegal operations.
Demanding action against all names through an honest officer and closure of the bank in India, Kejriwal said in Dec 2006, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani had Rs 100 crore each while Anu Tandon had Rs 125 crore.
He said President Pranab Mukherjee must answer why he said in Parliament as Finance Minister there is no MP's name in the list.
He said about 700 people have a total of Rs 6000 crore in Swiss banks and the French government in July 2011 had in a CD given the names of those 700 Indians to the Indian government, all of whom have HSBC Geneva branch accounts.
He said Unnao MP Anu Tandon, who is wife of late Income Tax officer turned Reliance top shot Sandeep Tandon, has Rs 125 crores. He said Rs 2100 crores of Motech Software run by them and Reliance group of Mukesh Ambani is parked in Swiss accounts.
Kejriwal said Jet Airways honcho Naresh Goyal had Rs 80 crores in the account in 2006.
Yashovardhan Birla too had an account but in Dec 2006 it has no balance.
He said Dabur group also has Rs 25 crore in Swiss bank.
Kejriwal's India Against Corruption (IAC) said the present CBI Director once said that more than USD 500 billion of Indian black money was stashed abroad.
"A major chunk of this money is believed to be lying in Swiss banks in Switzerland. Would this money every come back to India? Developments of the last few years have given a ray of hope that if Indian Government acted tough like its US counterpart did a few years back, India also might get access to the list of those having their undeclared accounts abroad. However, Indian government seems to be more interested in helping the guilty rather than punishing them," said IAC.
"The money stashed in Swiss banks can be repatriated but it won't happen owing to the government which is hand in glove with the account holders and compromising economic sovereignty," said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal said Pranab Mukherjee had made a full scheme to save these 700 Swiss accounts holders.
Kejriwal said Sandeep Tandon had as an Income Tax officer raided Reliance and then started working for them. Tandon was also in Enforcement Directorate.
"Anu Tandon is core group member of Rahul Gandhi. No one knows whose money it is that they have in Swiss bank," said Kejriwal, pointing out the proximity of Rahul Gandhi and Anu Tandon.
"Pranab Mukherjee had said there was no MP in the list that has come. But Anu Tandon is an MP," said Arvind Kejriwal.
He accused Pranab Mukherjee of stalling raids on the Ambanis.
Kejriwal also slammed HSBC Bank for engaging in hawala transactions.