Shimla (Vijyender Sharma)
The agency is probing allegations against Singh and his family members of having amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union Minister of Steel. It has also attached assets worth about Rs 14 crore in this case under PMLA laws.The CBI chargesheet, filed sometime back, claims that the politician had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent of his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister.
In further trouble for Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the ED has summoned him for questioning in its money laundering probe against him and others.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) action comes close on the heels of the CBI filing a chargesheet against him and his wife and others for allegedly amassing assets worth around Rs 10 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income.
Officials said the agency has issued fresh summons to Singh as it wants to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).They said he has been asked to depose before the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case on April 13 here. The agency has summoned Singh earlier too but then he had excused himself stating his official commitments.It has already questioned his wife Pratibha and son Vikramaditya in this case.The ED had filed a case under criminal provisions of the anti-money laundering law against the CM, his family members and others after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by the CBI in this regard in September, 2015.
The agency is probing allegations against Singh and his family members of having amassed wealth of Rs 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union Minister of Steel. It has also attached assets worth about Rs 14 crore in this case under PMLA laws.The CBI chargesheet, filed sometime back, claims that the politician had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent of his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister.The final report filed against nine people for alleged offences punishable under section 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents.Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife Pratibha Singh, the report also arraigned Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia as accused.The report also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who is currently in judicial custody. Chauhan was arrested by the ED on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case related to the present case.
Meanwhile Delhi High Court on Monday denied bail to LIC agent Anand Chauhan in a money laundering case involving Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others. "I have dismissed this petition (bail application)," Justice Vipin Sanghi said. Chauhan is in judicial custody since his arrest in July last year.
During the hearing on his bail plea earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had claimed that there was ample evidence against him and there was serious apprehension that he could tamper with evidence if released on bail. The accused had approached the high court challenging the trial court's August 20 last year order dismissing his bail plea, saying there was "more than sufficient material" to show his involvement in the alleged offence. The ED had alleged that Virbhadra Singh had "invested huge amount in purchasing LIC policies in his own name and his family members through Chauhan." Chauhan was arrested from Chandigarh on July 9, 2016, under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act after the ED alleged that he was not cooperating with the probe. Chauhan had sought bail on the ground that the case against him was documentary in nature and there was no need to keep him in custody. He had claimed of having joined and cooperated with the agency in the ongoing probe.
In a separate case, Virbhadra Singh and his wife were on March 31 charge sheeted by the CBI in a special court here in a disproportionate assets case after the High Court refused to quash FIR against them and lifted the stay on their arrest.