ED to file fresh charge sheet in PMLA case involving Virbhadra Singh
The Enforcement Directorate today told a special court that a fresh charge sheet will be filed in the case of money laundering allegedly involving Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, in which more persons are likely to be named as accused. The first charge sheet has only named Singh's close aide and LIC agent Anand Chauhan as the accused, who is in the judicial custody.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Goel was told by the ED that the second charge sheet will be filed within seven weeks. The court allowed agency's plea seeking time and posted the matter for further hearing on September 4 and also extended Chauhan's judicial custody till then.
Chauhan was arrested from Chandigarh on July 9 last year under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was allegedly not cooperating with the investigating officer. ED had claimed in the court that during Chauhan's interrogation, it was revealed that as an LIC agent, he had entered into a modus operandi to launder disproportionate assets by investing in LIC policies.
The agency had alleged that Singh "while serving as a union minister, invested huge amounts in purchasing LIC policies in his own name and that of his family members through Chauhan".
"Virbhadra Singh, while functioning as a Union minister during the period from May 28, 2009, to June 26, 2012, acquired assets, disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs 6,03,70,782 and further tried to justify the same in the form of agricultural income. Pratibha Singh, wife of Virbhadra Singh, Chauhan, with whom Virbhadra Singh had signed the alleged MoU for managing his apple orchard and Chunni Lal Chauhan, proprietor of M/s Universal Apple Associates, who purportedly showed purchase of apples from Shrikhand Orchard, have facilitated in justifying the disproportionate assets of Virbhadra Singh and thereby abetted the offence," the ED had alleged.
Chauhan is also chargesheeted, along with 82-year old Singh, his wife and others, in a separate case filed by CBI in the matter.
Singh and the other accused have denied all allegations made against them by the ED and the CBI.