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ED to probe money laundering case

delhi Updated: May 20, 2011 17:25 IST
Rajesh Kumar Pandey
Rajesh Kumar Pandey
Hindustan Times
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In a significant development, the Allahabad High Court on Friday rejecting to quash the FIR lodged against the former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh refused to stay his arrest in connection with a case of cheating, fraud and offence under Money Laundering Act registered against him in Kanpur on October 15, 2009.

Dismissing Amar Singh's writ, the court directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to make a thorough probe in the alleged offence under Money Laundering Act. The court directed that the entire papers relating to the matter shall be entrusted to the ED within two weeks.

The court directed that the ED will submit first status report within one month after receipt of papers. While directing to list this case in the first week of July 2011, the court directed that the authorities shall appear in person to submit first status report. The FIR lodged against Amar Singh on October 15, 2009 by Shiv Kant Tripathi Kanpur district had alleged that he (Amar Singh) committed cheating and fraud to the tune of several crores of rupees when he was the Chairman of UP Development Council, when the Samajwadi Party headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav was in power in the state.

A division bench comprising Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice SS Tiwari observed, “Money laundering poses a serious threat to financial system integrity. It may emerge as a parallel economic system within a nation controlled by a few. The matter needs thorough probe by special cell as the mater has national ramification. The companies which are alleged to be Shell Companies are registered in various states and therefore, the ED being central agency shall be appropriate cell capable of carrying out thorough probe”.

During chairmanship of UP development council, Amar Singh was holding rank of cabinet minister. Tripathi in his FIR said that as chairman Amar Singh misused his official position and awarded various government contracts worth thousand of crores to companies owned and controlled by him and he also received kick-backs in the form of commission. Tripathi also accused him of being involved in money laundering business by creating a web of 41 Shell Companies. Tripathi alleged that the major share holders of these companies were Amar Singh's wife and close family associate Amitabh Bachchan.

These companies were with little or no business. It is further alleged that amalgamation process was a deception and by this process the companies in which the petitioner had controlling shares, were enriched by wealth of around Rs 400 crores.

By this reckoning, it is alleged that the petitioner was in possession of wealth disproportionate to his known source of income and it would thus be eloquent that the he misused his position by indulging in money laundering business and for this purpose he conspired with other Directors, officials and statutory authorities. However the counsel for Amar Singh had contended that allegations in FIR were absurd and were result of political rivalries and the entire facts had been concocted to malign the petitioner and for setting political scores. Therefore, the FIR is an act of malice and deserved to be quashed. Amar Singh had alleged political vendetta on the part of chief minister Mayawati, who had been made a party in this writ petition. Amar Singh has alleged that the chief Minister had conspired to get this FIR lodged against him due to political rivalry.