Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta
Principal Secretary Amitabh Gupta

Mumbai: A one-member committee headed by Maharashtra additional chief secretary (finance) Manoj Saunik has observed that Principal Secretary (Special) Amitabh Gupta exceeded his jurisdiction when he cleared the journey of DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan with 21 family members from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar during lockdown.

Gupta admitted that he had issued the letter on humanitarian grounds and the committee has recommended further probe into the alleged relationship between the former and the Wadhawan brothers.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told FPJ, I received a report at around 2 pm on Sunday from Saunik which will be forwarded to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for further action. Till that time, Gupta will continue to remain on compulsory leave.

Deshmukh said Gupta’s admission is a befitting reply to the BJP which had alleged that Gupta had issued the letter under duress. The report further said that although the government has accepted Gupta’s submission, it should ask him to be extra careful in the future and check the background of his benefactors before helping them.

The second part of report has dwelt at length upon the previous dealings, if any, between Gupta and the Wadhawans.

The committee has also recommended that the government needs to conduct a forensic investigation into whether there was a mala fide intention in giving the letter. Moreover, the committee has suggested that the government should ask a competent investigation agency to probe these allegations.

Home Department officers hinted that Gupta may be asked to resume duties after a stern warning. Meanwhile, the CBI on Sunday took custody of DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan from Satara police.

Both brothers are named as accused in the CBI's FIR pertaining to alleged swindling of money by Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others. The brothers and 21 others were placed in home quarantine at their property in Mahabaleshwar on April 23.

Deshmukh said he had written to the CBI and the ED that the 15-day quarantine of Wadhawan brothers would be over on April 17 and the CBI should take their custody. ‘‘Almost after nine days, the CBI has finally taken their custody,’’ he noted.

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