The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh in connection with a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation case.
In the summons issued by ED assistant director Ajai Singh, Raninder has been asked to appear before the agency on June 16 to explain the alleged movement of funds to Switzerland and creation of a trust and a few subsidiaries in British Virgin Islands.
The ED has initiated action following a complaint by the income tax department which claims that Raninder lied under oath to the department about trusts allegedly owned by him in British Virgin Islands.
The income tax department had found that Raninder was the settler (donor) of the Jacaranda Trust, UK, and owner of business entities Mulwala Holdings Limited, Limerlock International Limited, Chillingham Holdings Limited and Allworth Venture Holdings Limited.
The authorities in the British Virgin Islands informed the department that the business entities were holding substantial financial assets, including bank accounts in HSBC, Geneva, and properties in the UK and Dubai.
The authorities provided the IT department with a copy of the trust deed which showed that the settlement was made on July 22, 2005, in British Virgin Islands between Raninder and HSBC Trust Company Limited. Raninder acted as a trustee.
Press Trust of India quoted Raninder saying that he had nothing to hide and was willing to cooperate on the issue. “This was already being looked into by the income tax authorities. We have nothing to hide and we will fully cooperate with the enforcement directorate,” he said.
In March, Ludhiana’s chief judicial magistrate Ranjeev Kumar had issued a notice to Raninder for lying to the income tax department about his foreign bank accounts. Acting on a criminal complaint by income tax deputy director (investigation) Amit Dua against Raninder for giving false information, the Ludhiana court asked him to file a reply on July 26, the next date of hearing.
The income tax department had found that the former chief minister’s son was a direct beneficiary of assets maintained and controlled through foreign business entities.
When the department confronted Raninder with this information last year, he denied having any foreign bank accounts. Later, the department filed a complaint against Raninder under Sections 181 (false statement on oath) and 177 (furnishing false information) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 277 (false statement in verification) of the Income Tax Act.