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Payments from CM funds to household, social gathering: ED probes diaries of Mehbooba aide

Two hand-written diaries maintained by an aide of former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and recovered from his Srinagar residence throughout searches carried out on December 23, 2020, are the main focus of an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, sources informed The Sunday Express.

The former Chief Minister and president of the Peoples Democratic Party was questioned by the company two days in the past. Officials stated she was proven copies of pages from a diary which lists alleged month-to-month funds made out of the CM’s discretionary funds to a number of people together with her family; as cost for social gathering actions and to meet “personal” bills.

The fund, in accordance to officers aware of the on-going probe into the alleged cash laundering case, was to the tune of Rs 1 crore a month of which roughly a 3rd was used as funds to state authorities businesses.

After a scrutiny of 23 financial institution accounts and questioning and looking out a number of key individuals, the company has made out a case of alleged ‘’diversion” of between Rs 7-8 crore from the Government fund for “personal and political purposes.”

A scrutiny of the entries, officers stated, reveals month-to-month outflows to the previous Chief Minister herself in addition to cost to destitute properties.

For May/June and November 2017, there are funds listed in direction of organizing a wazwan in Delhi; the acquisition of a humidifier; funds in direction of tailors’ payments, cable TV prices, Golf Club payments and milk provides. Payments, for June 2016 whole Rs 59.64 lakh and for October 2016, Rs 53.35 lakh.

The ED has categorized alleged funds as per their finish use: organizing PDP rallies; offering automobiles for PDP employees and buy of air tickets for her household.

Asked about these by The Indian Express, Mehbooba Mufti stated: “I have been shown this diary but it is not the gospel truth. I know the people mentioned but I cannot certify what they write in their notes. The CM’s fund is a discretionary fund and it the Chief Minister’s prerogative how to expend that amount.”

She stated that each CM has used the discretionary fund for numerous functions and “though it is not audited, I have kept accounts and maybe I should not have.”

The company is now set to query members of Mehbooba Mufti’s household in reference to allegedly important deposits into their financial institution accounts when she was Chief Minister.

Details of the investigation present money deposits to the tune of Rs 60 lakh for the interval 2016-2018 into the accounts of Mehbooba Mufti’s mom, Gulshan Nazir, in addition to deposits into the accounts of her daughter, sister and brother. All these relations are anticipated to be questioned by the ED.

Along with this, there are allegations of money from “undisclosed sources” being deposited into the accounts of members of Mehbooba Mufti’s safety element and the cash being, subsequently, moved into the account of her mom.

Similar circuitous transactions are being probed between a Srinagar hotelier who would allegedly get money deposited into his accounts which was then transferred into accounts of the then CM’s relations, stated officers.

According to officers, nearly all these questioned within the case thus far have admitted to the money deposits. This contains the creator of the diaries who maintained the month-to-month accounts for the CM’s discretionary fund and is claimed to have confirmed the bills, stated officers.

Asked about alleged transfers from the fund to her mom’s account, Mehbooba Mufti denied making any such transfers. “She (her mother) is the wife of a former Home Minister and a former Chief Minister, it is not surprising that she should have a certain amount in her account.”

She stated that the CM’s fund in her tenure was used for serving to widows and youth engagement amongst different considerations. “If I had misused any funds, I would have more assets — land, property and jewellery. I don’t have any of that to show for all this alleged misuse,” she stated.

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