NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission to suspend Rajya Sabha membership of BJP president Amit Shah saying he had submitted a false affidavit before the poll panel.
In its petition, the Congress charged that at the time of filing his nomination papers for election to the Upper House, Shah had already mortgaged two of his properties (in 2016) to Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank for his son Jay Shah's company Kusum Finserve LLP.
The properties were mortgaged in lieu of a large and substantial loan of Rs 25 crore extended by the bank to his son's company.
The properties constitute a liability that should have been declared and Shah, who became a Rajya Sabha member in 2017, had wilfully and deliberately concealed significant liabilities from his declaration, the Congress charged.
"The EC must take immediate note of this and initiate appropriate proceedings to suspend the membership of Amit Shah to the Upper House with immediate effect," Congress spokespersons Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
"I don't have to say anything on that. The party has already responded to the allegations. It does not matter if they go to the EC or somewhere else," Union Minister Ravi Shankar said while responding to the Congress plea.
The opposition party had raised the issue last week following which BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had dismissed the charges.
The Congress also said the EC must initiate proceedings against Shah for filing a false affidavit, which attracts up to six months' imprisonment, and/or fine, and should communicate with the deputy chairman Rajya Sabha to determine what further penalties may be imposed on the BJP chief for breach of privilege.
Singhvi further said that Shah's liability vis-à-vis the loan is co-extensive with his son's undertaking and cannot be evaded by defining the same as a 'contingent liability', adding that the fact that this omission of liabilities is deliberate and not inadvertent is clearly established considering that Shah did not rectify or update the record even though an entire year has passed.
"This would attract several criminal provisions under the existing laws and precedent as laid down by the Supreme Court," said Singhvi.