After skipping the summons twice, Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder appeared before the enforcement directorate (ED) on Thursday, in connection with a Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema) violation.
Raninder, who was asked to appear before the agency to explain the alleged movement of funds to Switzerland and creation of a trust and a few subsidiaries in British Virgin Islands during his father’s tenure as the chief minister, was grilled for nearly four hours by ED assistant director Ajay Singh, who is the investigating officer.
Earlier, flanked by his father’s loyalists from Doaba region, Raninder joined the investigations at the Punjab ED headquarters here at 3pm along with his lawyer and All India Congress Committee (AICC) media panellist Jaiveer Shergill.
Sources said following the procedures of primary investigation in Fema cases, Raninder was asked to fill in an eight-page pro forma, seeking details of his family and property.
The ED, it is learnt, has also sought Raninder’s income tax (I-T) returns and travel summary since February 2006 within 10 days, which his lawyer has assured to submit. Shergill said it was a simple procedural summon, requiring a few documents.
‘Ready to face any probe’
Putting a bold face while coming out of ED headquarters, Raninder said he has nothing to hide. “I will attend the probe as they want me to and as I have nothing to hide,” he said.
Congmen lay out lavish welcome
A cavalcade of vehicles led by Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh, PPCC secretary Tejinder Bittu, Jalandhar district Congress chief Jagbir Brar and PPCC spokesperson Dr Navjot Dahiya led Raninder to the ED office after a lavish lunch at a city hotel. Even as Raninder was asked to appear at 3 pm on Thursday, he landed in Jalandhar on Wednesday evening and attended social gatherings at various places.
What’s the case
· The enforcement directorate (ED) initiated action after the income tax (I-T) department complained that Raninder lied under oath about trusts allegedly owned by him in British Virgin Islands.
· There are allegations that Raninder floated Jacranda Trust while Captain was the chief minister in 2005, and both Amarinder and his wife, Preneet Kaur, were among its beneficiaries.
· The I-T department had found that besides being settler (donor) of the trust, Raninder also owned 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.
· They also provided the department with a copy of the trust deed that showed the settlement was made on July 22, 2005, in British Virgin Islands between Raninder and HSBC Trust Company Limited.