Union Minister Jayant Sinha, in a series of tweets on Monday, responded to his name appearing in the Paradise Papers investigation.
On Monday, at least 714 Indians were named in documents leaked from two financial companies – Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti – that help the rich and the powerful move their money abroad and invest it in 19 tax havens.
The information was released by United States-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Ninety-six newspapers from across the world, including The Indian Express, on Monday began publishing stories based on the leaked financial data.
Sinha worked with Omidyar Network as its Managing Director in India before he became Lok Sabha MP from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand in 2014, The Indian Express had reported. Omidyar Network invested in a US company called D Light Design, and records from Appleby showed that Sinha served as director of D Light Design. The report said he he did not mention this in his declaration to the Election Commission when he contested the polls in 2014. The report also said he did not mention this to the Lok Sabha Secretariat or the Prime Minister’s Office as a Minister of State in 2016.
Soon after, Sinha said on Twitter, “These were bonafide and legal transactions undertaken on behalf of highly reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as Partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D Light Board.”
Details of the transactions had been “fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required,” said. Sinha said he had resigned in December 2013 to pursue a career in public life.
“After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D Light Board as an independent director,” he said, adding, “On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from the D Light Board and severed my involvement with the company.”
The minister said it was “crucial to note” that all transactions done for D Light “were as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose”.