Image Being Maligned In IPL Betting Racket Case: Former Probe Agency Head

Karnal Singh, as the ED director, had himself sought probe against his joint director, who was probing the IPL betting racket under the anti-money laundering law, on charges of indulging in corrupt practices and extortion in the case.

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Image Being Maligned In IPL Betting Racket Case: Former Probe Agency Head
New Delhi: 

Former ED director Karnal Singh on Tuesday said a "deliberate attempt" was being made to malign his image in connection with a probe into the alleged Rs 2,000 crore IPL cricket betting racket unearthed by the agency during his tenure.

Karnal Singh, who retired from the federal financial probe agency in October last year, was reacting to media reports that alleged the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in April had referred a complaint to the CBI claiming wrongdoing on part of the former Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief.

The complaint to the CVC was made by former ED Joint Director of Ahmedabad Zone, JP Singh, who was arrested and chargesheeted by the CBI in this case on charges of indulging in alleged corruption.

The trial in this case against JP Singh, an another official of the ED and others is ongoing at present.

Karnal Singh, as the ED director, had himself sought probe against his joint director, who was probing the IPL betting racket under the anti-money laundering law, on charges of indulging in corrupt practices and extortion in the case.

"During my tenure as director, Enforcement Directorate, a report from a central intelligence agency highlighted his (JP Singh's) involvement in a corruption and extortion case. The matter was first enquired by the ED special director (western region) and subsequently referred by me to the CBI for taking appropriate action.

"The CBI raided the concerned officer, arrested him, and also filed a chargesheet against him for his involvement in corruption in the designated court. He was further found to be involved in money laundering as well," Mr Singh said in a signed press statement.

The former ED chief said that it was "important to mention that I stand as a witness against him (JP Singh) in the court."

JP Singh, an IRS officer, has accused his former boss of possessing "illegal properties" and has charged him with taking bribes from cricket bookies involved in this racket that has links to Pakistan.

"It is very sad that certain sections of the media are relying on a complaint made by a corrupt officer who is currently being tried in the court.

"After 34 years of spotless service to the government of India, wherein, I have handled very important cases of terrorism and money laundering against very powerful individuals and politicians, this complaint is a deliberate attempt to malign my image," Karnal Singh said.

To put the record straight, he said, "I deem this complaint against me by a corrupt officer without any facts and merit".

"The charges are false and frivolous in nature and are absolutely denied by me," the 1984-batch IPS officer of Union Territories cadre said.

"I am disappointed to note that no attempt was made by the media to obtain my response before publishing these allegations against me. I would have readily stated the truth as I am doing now," Karnal Singh said.

The CVC reference, sources said, was made against a CBI Deputy SP too after J P Singh said that he had evidence against both, Karnal Singh and the CBI officer who investigated him.

The anti-corruption watchdog, that has superintendence over the CBI, said in its April letter that as the allegations against the two officers are "serious", a probe should be conducted.

However, the sources said, that the CVC wrote another communication after this and asked the CBI to first examine and verify the contents of the complaint before undertaking any action.



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