Ten months after launching its probe in the alleged kick back received by Indian entities, the Enforcement Directorate has finally issued showcause notices to former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and others for alleged irregularities in the Iraqi oil-for-food scam.
Official sources said the notices had been issued to Natwar Singh, his son Jagat, his friend Andaleeb Sehghal, Vikas Dhar and two firms Hamdan Exports Private Limited and Hamdan India Private Limited.
They have been given time till September 14 to reply to these showcause notices, a virtual chargesheet under FEMA with civil liability.
The showcause notice also mentions about the letters purportedly written by Singh to Iraqi officials in Saddam Hussein regime introducing businessman Andaleeb Sehgal, a friend of his son Jagat Singh, and recommending him for contracts under the UN-sponsored oil-for-food programme in Iraq, the sources said.
On February 17 and 18, the ED had questioned Natwar Singh after the agency had received a set of bank documents from Iraq and Jordan in the oil-for-food scam probed by Volcker.
Those served the showcause notice have been allegedly abetting violations under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Under FEMA, abetment is also construed as violation of the Act.
After they file their reply, the matter would go for civil adjudication and financial penalties would be imposed on them, if found guilty.