Paradise Papers: These Indian companies, personalities are under the scrutiny

Two days ahead of demonetisation’s first anniversary, the world witnessed the largest ever leak of financial data. Of two firms Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti with 19 tax havens across the world which help the powerful, including from India, to offshore their physical assets.

Several Indians have been listed in the Paradise Papers registries. The findings have emerged as part of the “Paradise Papers” released by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which was behind the Panama Papers made public last year.

There are several prominent politicians named in the complaint, which was first filed by the Rajasthan police in 2014, immediately after the BJP returned to power in the state, and later by the CBI in 2015. They are: former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot; Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram; former Union minister Sachin Pilot; and, Ravi Krishna, son of former Union minister Vayalar Ravi, who is also one of the founders of the company.

The allegations made by the agencies are that tenders for the contracts given under the NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) were tweaked to favour Ziqitza Health Care Limited and of subsequently generating fictitious claims and invoices, and of making claims on behalf of non-operated ambulances and faking multiple trips.