New Delhi, February 12: A special court on Monday taking a step forward summoned Ex-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh, his wife and three others as accused in a money laundering case.
Notably, Judge Santosh Snehi Mann after issuing summon against Virbhadra Singh, his wife and three others as accused in an around Rs 7-crore money laundering case said that there was enough evidence against the accused persons and directed them to appear before the court on March 22.
Besides Virbhadra Singh and his 62-year-old wife Pratibha Singh, the court also summoned Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan and two other co-accused, Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach in a money laundering case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 3 of this year filed a charge sheet in a money laundering case. All the accused were charge sheeted under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Besides Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha Singh, other accused are Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan. While two other co-accused in the case are Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach.
Earlier, on January 22 this year, on the direction of Delhi Patiala House Court, the ED filed a supplementary charge-sheet on the disproportionate assets case. However, on January 2, this year the Delhi Court granted bail to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan, who was involved in the same case. The court also directed Chauhan to furnish a bail bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the same amount.
The CBI 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. Virbhadra Singh had invested the money in LIC policies in his name, that of his wife and other family members. Earlier, Delhi High Court also allowed the CBI to file the charge sheet by rejecting the objections raised by Virbhadra and the Himachal government.
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 refused to give any assurance in the Delhi High Court that it will not arrest Singh when he appears before it.
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".