NEW DELHI: Amar Pratap Singh, the former CBI chief who has been booked by the agency, today claimed he was being "targeted" for his personal equations with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi and said he would welcome a fair and impartial inquiry in the case by the probe agencies.
His statement came on a day when media reports claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) would soon begin a process of attaching his properties in connection with its probe into an alleged Prevention of Money Laundering case registered against Qureshi.
"I have read the newspaper reports. It appears I am being targeted, but am not sure of the reasons why," Singh said in a statement here.
Strongly denying the charges levelled against him by the CBI which had registered a case against him last month and carried out searches at his residence, Singh, who was the CBI Director from 2010 to 2012, said "I welcome any CBI and ED investigation and sincerely hope that they will be fair and impartial.
"I shall be fully cooperating with any such investigation," Singh, a 1974-batch IPS officer, said.
The CBI has named Singh along with Qureshi and others in an FIR registered in February for allegedly favouring the meat exporter after receiving a complaint from the ED.
The former CBI chief had said that the messages had been in public domain "for over three years".
"Income Tax and Enforcement Director have not added anything further. None of the purported messages sent through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) pertain to the CBI investigations. They are mostly personal and innocuous in nature as between friends," he had said immediately after his house was searched by the CBI.
Enforcement Directorate chief Karnal Singh had alleged that in the course of investigation in a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case against AMQ Group of companies owned by Qureshi, it had transpired that the businessman was acting as a middleman for some public servants. In his letter, the ED chief had attached the records of Blackberry chat messages exchanged between A P Singh and Qureshi to allege that cognisable offences were committed by the two in collusion with each other.
Singh, during whose tenure in CBI a number of charge sheets were filed in high-profile cases including the alleged fake encounters in Gujarat of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Sadiq Jamal and Tulsi Prajapati, had said that majority of the messages were exchanged after he had retired from the agency on November 30, 2012.
In the Sheikh and Prajapati cases, BJP leader Amit Shah was charge sheeted by the CBI. Shah was also arrested by the CBI but later granted bail.
Shah was discharged in the Sheikh encounter case by the Special Court in December, 2014, six months after BJP-led government came to power and the CBI did not appeal against the discharge order.
Of the messages exchanged between him and Qureshi, only three belonged to the period when A P Singh was the CBI Director in which the meat exporter had sought "help" for a family friend.
However, Singh had informed Qureshi that charge sheet has been filed in the case and that his friend should approach the courts for relief, according to the messages cited by ED.
The ED, surprisingly, had not named Singh in its Enforcement Case Information Report and only appended 22 BBM messages which were exchanged between Singh and Moin Qureshi even after the retirement of the IPS officer.
The ED has also not specified in its complaint what specific favours were given by Singh and how he was benefitted from Qureshi. The complaint takes the name of Qureshi but only talks about senior officials and politicians in generic terms.