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Rane, Kaur have Swiss accounts?

Rane, Kaur have Swiss accounts?
Highlights

According to a reliable source, the names of \'Preneet Kaur\' and a name similar to one of Narayan Rane\'s sons allegedly feature on the HSBC list of Indians with Swiss bank accounts.

Preneet Kaur, the former minister of state at the Ministry of External Affairs in the UPA government, and Narayan Rane, former Maharashtra CM and till recently a Congress minister in the Prithviraj Chavan-led government in the state, have neither confirmed or denied the allegation that they or members of their family held bank accounts in the Geneva branch of the HSBC Bank's Swiss subsidiary.

According to a reliable source, the names of 'Preneet Kaur' and a name similar to one of Narayan Rane's sons allegedly feature on the HSBC list of Indians with Swiss bank accounts. The list has the names of 628 Indians who allegedly hold bank accounts in Switzerland. The names were provided to the Government of India by the French and German governments.

Rediff.com e-mailed questions to Preneet Kaur -- whose husband is senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh, the maharaja of Patiala and former Punjab chief minister -- at the e-mail of her assistant M P Singh who promised this correspondent that he would get Kaur's response. However, M P Singh stopped communicating with Rediff.com after a couple of telephone calls.

Preneet Kaur was asked two questions. One, if it was true that the ministry of finance had inquired with her about the alleged Swiss bank account(s) in her name, and two, what had been her response to that query? In Rane's case, Rediff.com could reach out to his assistants Sandip Bhonsale and Ninad Chavan.

Chavan informed Rediff.com that all e-mails meant for Rane are sent to him, then a printout is taken for Rane to read. Chavan confirmed on the telephone receiving Rediff.com's e-mail and said a printout of the e-mail had been delivered to Rane.

Narayan Rane has two sons, Nilesh and Nitesh. Nilesh Rane, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009, lost his election in May. His younger brother Nitesh won the October 15 assembly election from the Konkan while his father was defeated by a Shiv Sena candidate in a region where he has long commanded support. Rediff.com posed two questions to Narayan Rane. One, was it true that the ministry of finance had inquired about alleged Swiss bank account(s) in the names of members of the Rane family?

We also wanted to know if he had confirmed or denied holding any such bank account(s) with HSBC or any other bank abroad. Narayan Rane did not respond. According to a report in The Indian Express, some account holders have shown readiness to pay taxes and penalties on these accounts. Some of these account holders, the newspaper said, had already paid up.

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