BSP leader deposes in St Kitts forgery case

By A Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Bahujan Samaj Party leader Arif Mohammad Khan told the special court that controversial tantrik Chandraswami had shown him some papers which were related to the alleged foreign bank account of former Prime Minister V P Singh's son Ajeya Singh.

Khan, who was a former Union minister, deposed before special judge R L Chugh as CBI witness in the St Kitts forgery case. Khan told the court, in 1989 he had received a call from the accused (Chandraswami) following which he had gone to see him at his ashram.

Chandraswami had shown him a printed paper which appeared to be related to the bank account of Ajeya Singh, Khan told the court. He said the place where the bank was situated, as mentioned on that paper was St Kitts. He, however, said he did not exactly remember the name of the bank as the matter is more than 11 years old.

Khan said after going through the papers he had sought Chandraswami's permission to inform V P Singh about them. After initial reluctance, Chandraswami had agreed.

``I jotted down the details and thereafter I handed over that paper to V P Singh,'' the BSP leader told the court. He, however, said he had doubts about Chandraswami's statement about the purported signature of V P Singh on the bank paper.

The signature on the bank papers was in English, whereas the former Prime Minister generally signed in Hindi, Khan apprised the court. ``I was in the central Cabinet and therefore I knew that V P Singh used to sign in Hindi. I did not know that he signed in English too,'' said Khan.

Khan, however, resiled from his statement given to the probe agency about Chandraswami asking him to tell V P Singh to contact the accused to prevent the matter from being publicised.

The leader denied holding talks with Chandraswami and deposed: ``Chandraswami did not ask me to tell V P Singh to contact him, but the impression I gathered was that in case V P Singh spoke to the accused, Chandraswami would be helpful.''

Chandraswami and his aide K N Aggarwal are facing trial in the case on charges of forging documents to show that Ajeya Singh had opened a bank account in First Trust Corporation Limited in St Kitts island in 1986. He had apparently deposited US $ 21 million there.

The CBI has alleged that Chandraswami had forged the documents to tarnish the image of V P Singh. The trial court has already discharged former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and former Union minister K K Tewary after it concluded there was no evidence against them. The discharge order was later upheld by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.

Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 9, 2001
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