Gupta said letter for Wadhawans not under duress: Minister

Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday said that IPS official Amitabh Gupta, who gave a letter of approval to Yes Bank scam accused Wadhawan brothers and others for travel to a hill station amid lockdown earlier this month, said he did not write the note under anyone's pressure.

Deshmukh revealed this in his televised message.

The minister said that Gupta's statement is part the probe report, which was submitted to his ministry on Sunday.

'IPS officer Amitabh Gupta, Principal Secretary (Special) Home, has admitted that he has written the letter that allowed Wadhawan brothers to travel to Mahabaleshwar, which violated the national lockdown guidelines. He also said that he wrote the letter on his own and not under anybody's pressure.' 'Dheeraj Wadhawan and (his brother) Kapil had gone to Mahabaleshwar, but Satara police took them into custody and quarantined them for 14 days. We had informed the CBI 10 days back. The national probe agency finally left Mahabaleshwar along with Dheeraj and Kapil today evening for Mumbai,' he said.

The remaining people are now home-quarantined, the minister added.

'Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik, who was probing the case, has submitted his report today with the home ministry, wherein Gupta's statement has been recorded. The findings of the probe will be made public eventually,' he said.

Gupta had given permission to Wadhawans and others in the form of 'To Whomsoever It May Concern' letter issued on April 8. It stated that the Wadhawan family was known to Gupta and they were traveling for 'family emergency'. Their travel from Khandala near Pune to Mahabaleshwar despite coronavirus lockdown had sparked off a political row in the state.

The Wadhawan brothers, who are DHFL promoters are under the scanner in Yes Bank and Punjab and Maharashtra Co- operative Bank scams.

Meanwhile, in a veiled dig at BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and others, who had criMH-WADHAWANS-OFFICIAL-MINISTERticised the government over the episode, Deshmukh said, 'The kind of politics played on Gupta's letter is unfortunate. And people who led the state once were involved it.' The minister also announced a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh each to the families of two police officials who succumbed to coronavirus infection in the state.

'We will also offer a job to one person each from the two families in the (police) department,' he said. PTI ND NP NP