Reports have surfaced that Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi leased out a farmhouse in Delhi to Jignesh Shah’s Firm in 2013, who was arrested by CBI in the same year in NSEL scam. Shah’s firm, Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) signed a lease agreement of 11-months, got the ‘Indira Gandhi Farmhouse’ in Mehrauli as per the lease agreement at the sum of 6.7 Lakh per month. This whole thing happened at the time when UPA government under Manmohan Singh was probing illegal financial deals which involved National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). At that time, FTIL used to be the promoter of NSEL.
The farmhouse agreement, that dates back to Feb 1, 2013, was signed almost 10 months after NSEL received a show cause notice for alleged market irregularities. Finally, the NSEL scam became public in July 2013 and shockingly, the agreement ended in October 2013 that had to expire in Dec 2013.
When questions were asked, both Congress and FTIL said that it was a routine transaction. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, while responding to the questionnaire said that the farm is an ancestral property of Gandhi family and was purchased in the ’60s. It was rented out since then. “There was no question of any association or relationship or any intervention having been made by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in any ongoing proceedings either against FTIL or Jignesh Shah or any other person or entity related to them,” Surjewala said.
He also added, “Facing imminent defeat in the election going States, overall rejection of PM’s leadership and policies as also complete failure to tackle the all-around distress on various fronts of the economy — agriculture — jobs has pushed Modi Ji to seek to divert people’s attention by running such smear campaigns”. Surjewala accused the government of using the Income Tax Department and the ED as “revenge tools” to execute a “hatchet job”.
But the fact is that the UPA government helped NSEL to flourish. On June 5, 2007, NSEL was granted an exemption from complying with the provisions of Forwarding Contracts Regulation Act (An Act to provide for the regulation of certain matters relating to forwarding contracts, the prohibition of options in goods and for matters connected therewith).
There were systematic arrangements made by the UPA government to not empower any organization like Forwarding Market Commission (FMC) to take actions against NSEL. FMC was allowed to retrieve information from NSEL only after Feb 2012. Once data was made available to FMC, it submitted a report to the Department of Consumer Affairs stating that there was a violation in the condition under which NSEL was granted FCRA exemption. In December 2013, FMC declared FTIL and Jignesh Shah as “not fit and proper” to be shareholder or director in the management or board of any exchange.
After that, the then UPA government took action against the scam and lodged charges of frauds and illegal transactions on FTIL and Jignesh Shah. According to reports, CBI has recently charged former Multi Commodity of India Ltd (MCX) MD Jignesh Shah for allegedly facilitating a pan-India exchange status for MCX.
UPA though complicit in NSEL fraud finally acted against Jignesh and NSEL , declared him not 'fit and proper', got him arrested in 2014. What has @BJP4India done? Allowed him to sell 'attached properties'? @PMOIndia @narendramodi @narendramodi_in @SushmaSwaraj @shweta_shalini pic.twitter.com/VS3sHbc181
— NSEL Fight (@NSELfight) December 10, 2018
The ‘Farmhouse’ case came into light on November 29 when the Enforcement Directorate wrote to FTIL, which now goes by the name 63 Moons Technologies Ltd, and asked about the details of its agreement with the Gandhis. It seems that the whole transaction happened even though the UPA government was aware of the fact that Jignesh Shah was a defaulter in the NSEL case. This investigation may act as a curtain raiser for another big scam of the UPA era.
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