From Rs 700 in her bank account to over Rs 75 lakh in just 32 months - this, however, is not a classic rags-to-riches story. This is a case of a government official allegedly using his domestic help's account to "camouflage" his wealth.
Central Bureau of Investigation officials on Wednesday said Saritha and A K Yadav, a former joint chief controller of explosives in Petroleum Explosives and Safety Organisation in Chennai, have been charged for allegedly holding illicit wealth to the tune of Rs 98.89 lakh, nearly 311.3 per cent above the officer's legal income.
The agency has also found suspicious the role of TVK Kumaresan, who acted as Mr Yadav's agent, they said. Mr Kumaresan has also been named in the complaint.
The agency had received information that Mr Yadav "enriched" himself "illicitly" during his tenure as joint chief controller of explosives in Chennai from August 12, 2015 to April 7, 2018 when he retired from service, the CBI FIR alleged.
It was alleged that during the check period 2015-18, he accrued disproportionate assets worth Rs 1.37 crore in his as well as his domestic help Saritha's name, whereas his legal income during the period was Rs 31.76 lakh only, they said.
After deducting his expenses, the agency alleged, he had illegal wealth of Rs 98.89 lakh.
In its calculations, the agency showed that immovable assets worth Rs 44.35 lakh and movable assets worth Rs 30.94 were held by Saritha in 2018, who had just Rs 700 in her savings account in 2015, when Mr Yadav joined the Chennai office.
From August, 2015 to April, 2018, Saritha a received salary of Rs 2.66 lakh from Mr Yadav which comes to an average of Rs 8,300 per month.
The remaining assets were in the name of Mr Yadav and his wife, Pusha, in the form of land holding and bank deposits.
The officials suspect that Mr Yadav used Saritha to camouflage his illicit wealth.
The assets allegedly held by Saritha, include two plots of land worth Rs 29.50 lakh, a house worth Rs 36 lakh, 547 gram of gold jewellery worth Rs 10.94 lakh, a scooter worth Rs 65,135, and promissory notes worth Rs 6.70 lakh signed by various persons, besides bank deposits, they said.
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