A Punjab and Haryana high court division bench on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on a Punjab NGO’s application seeking direction to Enforcement Directorate (ED) assistant director Niranjan Singh to file a status report on investigation into money laundering aspect of the Jagdish Bhola drug racket.
The non-government organisation, Lawyers for Human Rights International, also wants the officer to explain why the inquiry has not been completed, so far. The bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Sudip Ahluwalia adjourned the hearing for September 7 without issuing any notice on the application, stating that the ED had filed reports from time to time.
The application mentioned that in January 2015, the high court had stayed the officer’s transfer but “even 18 months from the day, he has not shown any speedy action in the matter”. The NGO fears that the ED’s investigation was not going on in a “free and fair” manner.
The transfer was stayed on the NGO’s petition that it was the result of Niranjan’s summoning “high and mighty” in the money-laundering scandal related to the multi-crore-rupee drug case. Niranjan Singh, posted at the ED’s Jalandhar office, had questioned Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander, and Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary, among others.
PROPERTY OF AULAKH’S WIFE IN ED HANDS NOW JALANDHAR
Enforcement Directorate has taken the properties of the wife of former Akali leader Maninder Singh Bittu Aulakh, one of the prime accused in the Bhola drug racket, into its possession after the accused failed to explain the source of the money that went into buying it.
This 35-kanal farmland at Amritsar’s Kanwe village is registered in the name of Jagminder Kaur Aulakh, and the ED had attached it a few months ago after more than a year of investigation. The ownership remains with the accused but they can’t sell it. They can challenge the attachment order in the Delhi-based central adjudicating authority but the asset was confiscated only after a confirmation from there.