Delhi HC refuses to quash money laundering case against Himachal CM Virbhadra
The ED had in September 2015 lodged the case against the chief minister and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.india Updated: Jul 03, 2017 12:25 IST
In a setback to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the Delhi high court on Monday refused to quash criminal proceedings instituted against him by the enforcement directorate (ED) under the Money laundering Act.
Dismissing petitions filed by Singh, his wife Pratibha and son Vikramaditya Singh, Justice RK Gauba said, “the petitions are devoid of substance, consequentially the same are dismissed”.
Virbhadra Singh and his family members are being investigated by ED for having amassed wealth amounting to Rs. 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income between 2009 and 2011 when he was the Union minister of steel.
ED has also attached assets worth about Rs. 14 crore in this case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED had in September 2015 lodged the case against the chief minister and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI.
Earlier, in March this year, the Delhi high court had refused to set aside another disproportionate assets case against Virbhadra Singh and his family members, which was investigated by CBI. The agency has filed a charge sheet in the case.
The Delhi high court had then dismissed the chief minister’s claim that the FIR was the result of a “political vendetta”, and had paved the way for criminal proceedings which were stalled due to an October 1, 2015 order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating and filing the charge sheet against the accused.
The ED had earlier termed as “premature” Singh’s plea for quashing the money laundering case proceedings.
It had added that the plea seeking a stay on the proceedings was “not maintainable” as the inquiry into the matter was at a preliminary stage.
In July 2016, LIC agent Anand Chauhan was arrested by the ED under provisions of the PMLA as he was allegedly not cooperating with the investigating officer of the case.