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Akhil unmasks corporate ‘fraud’

Guwahati, Oct. 3: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today claimed to have exposed a multicrore-rupee corporate scam involving a Guwahati-based private satellite channel and an influential minister of the Tarun Gogoi government.

KMSS general secretary and award-winning RTI activist Akhil Gogoi said they would be writing to corporate affairs minister Salman Khursheed, Reserve Bank of India, Registrar of Companies and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with all relevant documents, seeking an inquiry into the fraud.

Gogoi alleged that Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had invested his ill-gotten money into the channel, in which his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma is the managing director, through a Chennai-based non-banking financial company.

He added that the two directors of the company, BKT Finance Private Ltd, were close confidantes of Sarma.

“One of the directors is Ranjit Bhattacharya, who is the personal secretary of Himanta Biswa Sarma, and another is Bhaskar Sarma, who is a contractor known to be close to Sarma,” Gogoi said.

The percentage of ownership and control of BKT Finance Private Ltd in the satellite channel is 43.93 per cent and it has invested Rs 751 lakh.

The KMSS general secretary said the health minister had invested money he had amassed through corruption into the channel under the name of the company.

“In the financial year 2005-06, the said company (BKT Finance Private Ltd) was a limited company by the name of BKT Finance Limited. In fiscal 2007-08, the company got converted from limited company to a private limited company and Bhaskar Sarma signed a fresh memorandum of association and articles of association in capacity of director of BKT Finance Ltd,” Gogoi said.

“The company thereafter raised its authorised share capital from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 6 crore and afterward to Rs 7 crore. Subsequently in a phased manner, the company acquired 43.93 per cent ownership of the satellite channel,” he said.

“By violating the norms, the BKT Finance Pvt. Ltd has not filed its annual returns and balance sheets to the registrar of companies and RBI since 2007,” Gogoi claimed.

“Moreover, the database of the RBI for the registrar of companies, Chennai, updated on May 7, 2010 stated the name of the company as BKT Finance Ltd and not as BKT Finance Pvt. Ltd with its address as Taleda House number 9, Doraiswamy Road, T Nagar, Chennai. But on our visit to Chennai we found that their office is not located at that address. We want an inquiry into all these anomalies,” he said.

He also dared Sarma’s wife and MD of the channel to make public the names of “friends and well-wishers” who had invested Rs 443.5 lakh in the channel.

“I am not aware about any such allegation levelled against me as throughout the day I was busy with Bijnan Jyoti Jatra. I will react in due course of time after going through the nature of the allegations,” Sarma said.

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