Monday, April 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Yet another case against Verma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
The CBI has registered another case of disproportionate assets against B.P. Verma, suspended chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Several assets were found either in his name or in the name of his family members besides some “benami” property, sources in the CBI said.

Verma is already facing charges of criminal conspiracy and misuse of official position. The disproportionate assets case has been registered after the anti-corruption branch of the CBI scrutinised the documents seized from Verma’s official and residential premises following raids on March 31.

The CBI has, so far, arrested six persons in connection with the case, including CBEC chairman’s son Siddarth Verma. Others include Rajeev Kumar, manager of the group of companies owned by Siddarth Verma, Bhavana Pandey, an alleged conduit of Verma, Sharavanan, partner of M/s A.K. Enterprises and K. Vijay Pratap, an alleged middleman who paid bribe in crores of rupees on behalf of the firm to Siddarth in the capital on March 23.

Siddarth and Rohit own five companies, including Jubilee Enterprises and Jubilee Medicare but the CBI alleges that Siddarth was running some other business in the garb of these companies.

In two days of simultaneous raids in 15 places in Chennai and Delhi, the CBI had claimed to have recovered assets worth crores of rupees, including Rs 24 lakh worth investment in Unit Trust of India and LIC, jewellery worth Rs 24 lakh, Rs 1.4 lakh in cash, $ 1500, household goods worth Rs 16 lakh, besides a bank balance of Rs 7 lakh.


Karunakaran’s resignation rejected

New Delhi, April 8
The Congress High Command has rejected the resignation of senior leader K. Karunakaran from the party’s Working Committee which had created a crisis in the party in Kerala in the wake of his unhappiness over denial of nomination to his supporters in the Assembly elections.

The resignation has been rejected, party spokesman Anand Sharma said, adding the action of the senior and respected leader should be seen as a “burst of temper”.

Seeking to downplay the issue, Mr Sharma said Mr Karunakaran was committed to the victory of the UDF in the state.

AICC Secretary Subodh Kant Sahay, who is in charge of Kerala, also spoke on similar lines.

Asked if any senior leader was proceeding to Thiruvananthapuram to pacify Mr Karunakaran, he did not give a direct reply but said the central leaders would be busy in Delhi in finalising nominations for the Assembly poll in the next few days.

Senior party leaders maintained the Congress was not projecting anyone, including Mr A.K. Antony, as chief ministerial candidate in the state in a bid to avoid antagonising the Karunakaran camp. PTIBack

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