The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a money laundering case. He must appear before it on April 20, an official told IANS on Tuesday. Earlier the ED had summoned him on April 13. But he failed to appear before it. The senior Congress leader had allegedly avoided earlier summons to get his statement recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is said to have excused himself by referring to his official commitments.
The ED has already questioned his wife Pratibha Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh in the case.
In the first week of April, the Enforcement Directorate attached Virbhadra Singh’s Delhi farmhouse worth Rs 27.29 crore.
The agency’s move came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet against Virbhadra Singh and others in March for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 6.03 crore.
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The ED had filed a criminal case under the PMLA against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha, Life Insurance Corporation agent Anand Chauhan, his associate Chunni Lal, and others in 2015 following the CBI’s FIR dated September 23, that year.
The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry found that Singh as Union Minister from 2009 to 2012 allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.
After his Delhi farmhouse was attached, the Chief Minister accused the Centre of harassing him and destabilising his government.
He alleged that central agencies like the ED and CBI were being misused against political opponents by the Centre.