Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland (ALL) said on Wednesday that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) investigation in an alleged vehicle scam is against a third party scrap customer and not the Hinduja Group flagship company.
The ED is investigating a case in which BS-III vehicles were fraudulently registered as BS-IV vehicles.
Responding to reports of the ED investigating ALL in the case, a spokesperson for the company told FE it has submitted all documents and information to the ED, which establishes that the company is not implicated in any manner.
The ED on Wednesday attached assets worth more than Rs 22 crore of former Andhra Pradesh Telugu Desam Party MLA JC Prabhakar Reddy, his associates, companies such as Diwakar Road Lines and others linked to them, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the case.
It said that it is also probing the role of ALL.
According to the ED, Reddy’s Jatadhara Industries, his associate and civil contractor C Gopal Reddy and others, purchased BS-III vehicles from Ashok Leyland at a discount and fraudulently registered them as BS-IV vehicles by fabricating invoice copies — in contravention of a Supreme Court order.
In March 2017, the apex court ordered that vehicles not compliant with BS-IV emission norms should not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer after April 1, 2017. The registration of such vehicles was also prohibited from the same date.
An ALL spokesperson said, “This matter seems to be pertaining to an old investigation from the year 2020-21. The investigation is not against Ashok Leyland, but against a third party scrap customer. Ashok Leyland is compliant with all emission requirements.”
The ED found that some of the vehicles were registered in Nagaland, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The agency established the crime using fabricated invoices collected from RTO authorities in Nagaland and original invoices issued by Ashok Leyland as scrap for the same vehicles. The crime proceeds generated by owning, plying and selling these vehicles have been quantified at Rs 38.36 crore, it said.
Subsequently, movable properties worth Rs 6.31 crore, consisting of bank balance, cash, jewellery and receivables, 68 immovable properties valued at Rs 15.79 crore belonging to JC Prabhakar Reddy, his family members, companies controlled by him like Diwakar Road Lines and Jatadhara Industries, and C Gopal Reddy and his family members have been attached after a provisional order was issued by the agency.