ED summons Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh

SansadTV Bureau

12183869_1127758653918614_6215391249089415326_oEnforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in connection with a money laundering case.

Singh has been asked to personally appear before investigators in the first week of December in Delhi. But the summons also says that in case the CM is unable to appear in person, an authorised or legal representative can also submit the required documents on his behalf. The agency, said that it will record Singh’s statement when he appears before the investigators, given his official commitments.

Sources said the summon was issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Similar summons have been issued to some of his associates as well, sources revealed.

The summons comes a week after ED teams conducted searches related to the case in Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The ED has filed a case under the criminal provisions of money laundering laws after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by CBI in this regard in September.

Agency sources had said investigators have gathered some “important” documents to probe and detect the suspected “proceeds of crime” allegedly channelled by Singh and his associates by using purported illegal funds.

ED teams had also conducted searches in this case last week in three states of Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

ED is probing the allegation that Singh and his family members allegedly amassed wealth worth Rs 6.1 crore which is disproportionate to his known sources of income, during his term as the Union Minister of Steel between 2009 and 2011.

CBI suspects that between 2009 and 2011, Singh allegedly invested Rs 6.1 crore in life insurance policies in his and his family members’ names through LIC agent Chauhan. And he claimed that the money he invested was his agricultural income and allegedly attempted to legitimise it by filing revised Income-Tax returns in 2012.

“The agricultural income as claimed by him in his revised ITRs was not found to be tenable. The then Union minister had allegedly accumulated other assets disproportionate to known sources of income,” CBI had alleged.

The CBI FIR had charged Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and Chauhan’s brother CL Chauhan under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had also carried out searches at various premises belonging to Singh and his family immediately after the FIR was filed. The Congress party had then termed the action as “highly vindictive”.

(With inputs from PTI)