STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 24 July
A city court has summoned Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Vincent George as an accused in a disproportionate assets’ case. It rejected the CBI’s closure report, saying there is sufficient material to proceed against George.
“Final report filed by CBI is not accepted. Further, it is held that sufficient material is available on record for proceeding against Vincent George (the suspect) for the offence punishable under Section 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) relating to possession of assets by a public servant disproportionate to known sources of income. He be summoned as an accused for offence punishable under section 13(1)(e) of PCA, 1988, for 30 August,” said the special CBI Judge J P S Malik.
An FIR was registered against George in 2000 for allegeldy being in possession of disproportionate assets from November 1984 to December 1990.
According to the prosecution, while holding the office of public servant as private secretary to former Prime Minister and later leader of Opposition, the late Rajiv Gandhi, he acquired "benami" assets in the name of his wife, children and close relatives which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The CBI had alleged that George had amassed huge wealth after 1990 which included commercial and residential properties in posh south Delhi area, properties in Bangalore, Chennai, Kerala and agriculture land bordering Delhi besides cash of over Rs 1.5 crore in bank accounts.
However, in May this year, the CBI filed a lengthy closure report saying the allegations of the FIR had not been substantiated and that the final report for closure of this case be accepted and the documents seized/ collected during the investigation be returned to the persons concerned.
The closure report detailed the various positions held by George from 1975 to 1977 when he was an assistant in the AICC following which he was deputed as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s personal staffer in 1980. After her assassination in 1984, he was associated with Rajiv Gandhi in different capacities.
The agency added that the investigation had showed that foreign remittances which were included in the category of income of George and his family members came from the US sent by other family members as financial help.