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Jagat denies owning Mercedes seized by ED

"I do not have a Mercedes and I challenge ED authorities to produce evidence in support of charges."

india Updated: Aug 05, 2006 14:25 IST

Jagat Singh, Congress MLA and son of former Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, on Friday denied that the Enforcement Directorate had impounded his Mercedes car and challenged it to prove the alleged report made in the press.

Daring the Enforcement Directorate to produce evidence in support of its claim of having seized an expensive Mercedes Benz car, allegedly brought from the money earned through the oil-for-food dealings, Jagat said he did not even own a Mercedes.

"I do not have a Mercedes and I challenge ED authorities to produce evidence in support of the allegations."

They must produce the registration and insurance papers of the Mercedes car, purportedly in my name, to substantiate the charge, he told mediapersons.

"There seems to be a certain design behind all this and the issue looks to be much beyond making allegations—of targetting my father."

Accusing the ED of witch-hunting and harassing him, juinor Singh said since last month the ED has been changing its stands very frequently, even going to the extent of saying that eight crores were received by me in the deal, he said and added, "They are after me."

Jagat's reaction follows reports that the ED had claimed to have impounded his Mercedes some two weeks back, parked it at an undisclosed destination, and was waiting to initiate confiscation proceedings soon after adjudication proceedings in the case were over.

The ED also reportedly said Jagat was one of the alleged beneficiaries of the oil-for-food scam involving two million barrels of oil from Iraq, because of which the reported 'impounding' had been done.

Meanwhile, sources said ED had completed its investigations and was waiting for the submission of the Justice RS Pathak Committee report before it sends a notice to the Singhs.

The Volcker Committee, appointed by the United Nations to probe irregularities in Iraq's oil-for-food programme during the regime of Saddam Hussein, had issued its report in October last year.

Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the US federal reserve who headed the committee, in his report had named Natwar Singh and the Congress party as 'non-contractual beneficiaries' of the programme following which Natwar Singh resigned as External Affairs Minister on November 8 last year.