New Delhi, April 20: The embarrassment for Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh continues as he today appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi in connection with a money laundering case registered against him and others.
Notably, ED issued the summons to Singh for a personal appearance to question him and record his statements in the money laundering case registered on the basis of a CBI FIR. The CBI had filed charge sheet against him over illegal assets worth around Rs 10.30 crore, disproportionate to their known sources of income during 2009-11 when he was the Union Power Minister.
However, Singh was first asked to appear before the ED on April 13 but he did not present himself before the agency, prompting the Investigating Officer to re-issue summons for April 20. His appearance before the ED came even as the agency on Wednesday refused to give any assurance in the Delhi High Court that it will not arrest Singh when he appears before it.
Earlier, in the same case, ED also attached Virbhadra’s farmhouse with a market value of Rs 27 crore. ED also issued a provisional order attaching the farmhouse located in south Delhi's Mehrauli area under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). After attaching the farmhouse, the agency said the book value of the asset is Rs 6.61 crore but its market value is "worth Rs 27 crore and is in the name of "Maple Destinations & Dreambuild".
Interestingly, Himachal’s CM earlier had rejected all the allegations made upon him and termed as ‘political vendetta’. CBI had registered the case on 23.09.2015 against then Union Minister; his wife; two private persons and unknown others on the allegations of possession of Disproportionate Assets. This FIR was the outcome of a preliminary inquiry which revealed that then Union Minister while serving during 2009-2012 had allegedly accumulated assets in his name and in the name of his family members which were found to be disproportionate to his known sources of income.