PMLA case against Virbhadra: ED directed to file status report
New Delhi: A special court on Thursday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file a status report by Monday regarding its ongoing probe in a money laundering case allegedly involving former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann, who had earlier granted time to the ED for filing of its supplementary charge sheet in the case, passed the order after the agency sought extension of the period by one month.
"File the status report first regarding what has happened so far. Give me details of entire process of the probe so far in writing. I would like to know what has happened," the court said. The ED had earlier filed a charge sheet against Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan in the case and told the court that the investigation was going on against other accused persons in the matter.
The court, meanwhile, granted exemption from personal appearance to Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh in a separate case file by CBI against them and others in the same matter.
It also directed the CBI to supply certain documents filed against them along with the charge sheet and posted the matter for further hearing on February 20.
Chauhan, arrested on July 9, 2016 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was granted bail on January 2 in the money laundering case.
In the CBI case, 83-year-old Virbhadra Singh, 62-year- old Pratibha Singh and Chauhan were chargesheeted along with others.
The couple, who have not been arrested so far, and other accused persons are facing trial in the case. The others are Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, Managing Director of Tarani Infrastructure Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, and co-accused Lawan Kumar Roach, Prem Raj and Ram Prakash Bhatia. The court had earlier summoned them after taking cognisance of the CBI charge sheett, running into over 500 pages having statements of around 225 witnesses and containing 442 documents.
The CBI has claimed that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as a Union minister.