In a sensational revelation, senior Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh exposed another massive Modi-Adani scam on Saturday. He revealed that Gautam Adani cheated the people of Maharashtra and Rajasthan of over Rs 10,000 crore by artificially inflating power equipment invoices of six Adani Group subsidiaries and moving the funds to offshore shell companies owned by his brother, Vinod Adani. Calling the scam “one of the most serious, shocking, and blatant cases of corruption in broad daylight,” the senior AAP leader brought to light the extent of corruption in the power sector and demanded a thorough investigation and severe punishment for the guilty in this matter.
He emphasised that the money embezzled in this scam could have been used to give free electricity to the people of Delhi for three years or fund the entire sports budget of the country for three and a half years, or to build roads, schools and other infrastructure, he said. He lamented the sad fact that the funds that belong to the people are being used to benefit one man i.e the friend of PM Modi, Gautam Adani.
Shri Sanjay Singh said, “Adani’s blatant corruption is the direct reason behind the people of the country getting electricity at a high cost.” He stated that the Adani G scams go on to show that the reason behind expensive electricity in the country is not the paucity of resources or the increase in the production costs of electricity, but PM Narendra Modi’s support of Adani’s brazen loot of the country’s resources. Calling it a Netflix-like series, the Rajya Sabha MP has recently been exposing various aspects of the Modi-Adani scam having earlier exposed serious Modi-Adani coal block scams in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Explaining the scam, the senior AAP leader revealed that Adani entered the power sector in Rajasthan and Maharashtra before 2014 through six of his companies. His companies entered into a contract with the Maharashtra government in which they receive fixed profits for their work on the production, distribution, operation, and transmission of electricity and the state government would bear all expenses incurred in the process. The AAP leader continued, “Despite an assurance of fixed profits, greedy Gautam Adani decided to openly loot the people.” He decided to purchase machines and equipment required for the production of electricity at low costs from China and South Korea, but they were over-invoiced in the name of his brother Vinod Adani’s shell companies based in Mauritius and Dubai at much higher prices than their actual cost. For instance, a disc insulator worth Rs 95 crore was bought for Rs 575 crore, optical fibre worth Rs 21 crore was bought for Rs 236 crore, and a turbine generator worth Rs 2,700 crore was purchased for Rs 5,000 crore.
The entire payment for these ‘expensive’ machines, which amounts to approximately Rs 10,000 crore, was taken from the Government of Maharashtra. Shri Sanjay Singh further revealed that the order was actually imported from China, but the over-invoicing scam was done in the paperwork to show that the order was given to companies in Mauritius and Dubai.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had issued show-cause notices in 2014 and 2015 clearly stating that Adani bought the equipments used in electricity production from his own brother’s shell companies in Dubai and Mauritius at much higher prices than the market price. Shri Sanjay Singh said, “The money had been taken from the Government of Maharashtra and it was told to them that these equipment are expensive and therefore the electricity provided to the citizens will also be expensive. This is the entire scam and the escalated costs are over Rs 10,000 crores.”
To give some context to the amount of the scam, he said that Rs 10,000 crores is sufficient to provide free electricity to all the residents of Delhi for over 3 years. This amount is three times greater than the sports budget of the entire country which is Rs 3300 crores. With this amount so many schools and hospitals can be constructed all across the country, but this scam was allowed only to benefit one industrialist in the country and that is Gautam Adani.
He further said that in 2014, the DRI started an investigation and issued a notice against six companies of the Adani Group, i.e. PMC Projects India Ltd., Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd., Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd., Adani Enterprises, Adani Hajira Port Pvt Ltd., Adani Renewable Pvt Ltd. These six companies were sent a notice by the DRI stating that the fake billing in this matter was done in places such as Dubai and Mauritius, and that it was done by none other than the brother of Gautam Adani, Vinod Adani.
He said that interestingly, all of this was happening in 2014, and around the same time, the Shri Narendra Modi-led BJP Government was formed. Soon after, in 2017, this investigation by the DRI was stopped. He said that at one point, CBI also started an investigation into this scam and also filed a PE, but eventually it was shut down and no FIR was filed by the investigative agency. Shri Sanjay Singh said that he has all the documents required to prove this scam and he hoped that now once this issue is highlighted in the media and all documents provided to the media, investigative agencies such as CBI, ED, DRI, IT and SEBI will investigate the matter seriously and raid the properties related to the Adani Group.
He, however, raised the doubt on whether these investigative agencies will be allowed to conduct a serious probe into the issue as Shri Narendra Modi is a close friend of the accused. Providing further details on the scam, he said that in 2015 CBI stopped its probe as it must have been told by the Central Government to abandon it. In 2017, DRI stopped its probe as well.
He pointed out that after that the Customs Department looked into this matter and wrote a letter to the DRI asking them why they had stopped a probe in a matter that was a clear case of corruption. The Customs Department further took this matter to the Supreme Court and in its affidavit it said that the allegation levelled by the DRI against the Adani Group stands to be valid. This matter will now be heard in the Supreme Court by a bench led by Justice Krishna Murari. This means that this matter is still active and if the PM of India has any sense of morality, then he should respond to these allegations of shutting the probe against the Adani Group and also ensure that strict action is taken against them for this scam, he said.
Reading from a document, he said that the Customs Department in its affidavit in the Supreme Court wrote, “DRI order suffers from several contradictions which indicate either total non-application of mind or recklessness in passing of the order.” He highlighted that the Customs Department has directly accused the DRI of non-application of mind to try and save the Adani Group from any kind of investigation in this matter.
He stated that this entire scam by the Adani Group has been done against the people of Maharashtra and Rajasthan as it is the residents of these states who are being provided expensive electricity because of the scam caused by the Adani Group. He attacked the BJP for shielding the Adani Group and said that the central agencies are quick to file cases against leaders of the opposition even when there is no evidence, but in this case, despite the DRI investigating and alleging a massive scam way back in 2014, no action has been taken by the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government in the last nine years.
Shri Sanjay Singh said that now that the matter is in front of a Supreme Court bench, he hoped that the Customs Department will take it to its due course and that there will be action taken by the court against the Adani Group. But he also asked a direct question to the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government. “Why are the resources of India being looted to benefit this one person in this country? Why are the citizens of India being cheated and provided expensive electricity? The scam that Gautam Adani has caused in Maharashtra is three times what is required to provide free electricity to all residents of Delhi for a year. It is three times the annual sports budget of the entire country. But the Prime Minister has decided to sit quietly on this matter and not take any action?”