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Salman Khurshid - Allegations of Siphoning of Funds


On 10 October 2012, a news channel in India, alleged that the minister and his wife had siphoned off lakhs of rupees by forging signatures of senior officials in several districts of Uttar Pradesh. The money was meant to help disabled people in the state. According to the sting operation conducted by the TV, the Union ministry for social welfare and empowerment had granted Rs. 71.5 lakh to the trust to distribute tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Allegations

1. Siphoning of funds to the tune of Rs. 71 lakh through the NGO of Law minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise. The money was meant for distributing hearing aids in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh in 2010. No camps were held.
2. Signatures of UP government officials which were shown to be present at the camps of distribution were forged.
3. False affidavits submitted by the Trust. Officials who have signatures of the affidavits denied signing them.
4. Comptroller and Auditor General's report confirms misappropriation of Rs. 71 lakhs.

Reacting to the sting operation carried out by the TV, India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal demanded the minister to resign and threatened to lead a group of people to gherao the residence of Sonia Gandhi on Friday.

Reacting to the allegations of Kejriwal, Salman Khurshid said he will file a court case against him. "The only answer they deserve is suitable suit filed in court - and that will be done both civil and criminal procedures", Khurshid said.

March to Prime Minister's residence

Arvind Kejriwal lead members of India Against corruption and disabled supporters to gherao the Prime Minister's residence demanding action against law minister Salman Khurshid for alleged malpractices in his NGO. They initially wanted to gherao the residence of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, but changed plans later. Meanwhile, Salman Khurshid said he is innocent and will go to court against allegations.

Arvind Kejriwal led a march on 12 October 2012 towards Prime Minister's residence with the intention to gherao the Prime Minister demanding action against Law minister Salman Khurshid for alleged misuse of funds sanctioned for buying equipment for disabled in Uttar Pradesh. He led a team of India Against Corruption members and a group of disabled people from Rashtriya Vilang Party. Police swooped on them about a kilometer away from the Prime Minister's residence and arrested them. The IAC members refused to leave even after they were released by the police. Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the day-long protest will now be an indefinite one till Khurshid resigns from the cabinet.

In the night, Kejriwal alleged that the police have selectively picked up volunteers and were beating up to terrorize them.Arvind Kejriwal and the IAC members continue to be in the makeshift jail on 13 October on the outskirts of Delhi. He tweeted, "Still detained inside Bawana stadium. As per law they will have to produce us before magistrate within 24 hours. They will have to do it before 2pm"

Meanwhile, erstwhile Team Anna members Kumar Biswas, Yogendra Yadav and Sanjay Singh have announced that they will march towards Parliament Street police station and sit on a dharna there.

Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters were released from police custody at Bawan Stadium on 13 October 2012. They were on their way to protest in front of Parliament street.


Louise files defamation suit

Salman Khurshid's wife Louse Khurshid launched an attack on 13 October 2012 against Arvind Kejriwal and accused him of doing politics using the shoulders of the disabled.

She defended that she and her husband Salman Khurshid are innocent and said that they is no reason why her husband should resign. "There is no inquiry against Khurshid either by the Central Government or any report by the CAG. So why should he step down," Louise said.

Louise filed a civil defamation suit against the TV channel in the Delhi High Cout. "They could find only three persons to say that they have not received anything, whereas we have provided artificial limbs to thousands of people. And we alone did not do all this. Our MLAs including Vivek Bansal, Jitin Prasada and others also organised camps for the disabled in various areas where artificial limbs were distributed. They are all disturbed now. We have spent huge money serving the people of our constituency Farrukhabad, for which we did not take anything from the Government. We will not soil our hands for an amount like Rs 70 lakh. We have done no wrong. All this is totally false," she said.

Kejriwal fears evidence may be destroyed

Arvind Kejriwal alleged that UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav may destroy evidence against Salman Khurshid's alleged embezzlement of funds in order to get centre to drop the disproportionate assets case against Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. "The process of quid pro quo could already be underway," he said on 14 Oct 2012.

Timeline

October 10, 2012: A news channel reports a sting operation alleging that law minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louse have siphoned off lakhs of rupees through their NGO. The funds were meant to help the disabled people in various districts of Uttar Pradesh.

October 12, 2012: Arvind Kejriwal leads members of India Against Corruption and disabled members of Rashtriya Vilang Party in a march to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence. They demanded the removal of Salman Khurshid from the cabinet. Arvind Kejriwal and others were detained in the Bawana stadium in the night.

October 12, 2012: Louise Khurshid files a civil defamation suit against the TV channel in the Delhi High Court.

October 13, 2012: Delhi police release Arvind Kejriwal and other detained who later proceeded with the march. Arvind Kejriwal and IAC announce indefinite stir till Salman Khurshid is sacked from the cabinet.

October 14, 2012: Arvind Kejriwal alleges UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav may destroy evidence against Salman Khurshid in an attempt for the Centre to drop the disproportionate assets case against Mulayam Singh Yadav.

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