Himachal Pradesh CM Virbadhra Singh appears before ED

Himachal Pradesh CM Virbadhra Singh appears before ED

After evading investigators once, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case.


Singh was first asked to appear before the ED on April 13 but he did not present himself before the agency, prompting the Investigating Officer to re-issue summons for April 20. His appearance before the ED came even as the agency on Wednesday refused to give any assurance in the Delhi High Court that it will not arrest Singh when he appears before it. The ED's stand became clear during the hearing of Singh's plea for quashing of the money laundering proceedings against him.


The agency issued the summons to Singh for personal appearance to question him and record his statements in the money laundering case registered on the basis of a CBI FIR. The CBI had chargesheeted him of amassing assets worth around Rs 10.30 crore, disproportionate to their known sources of income during 2009-11 when he was the Union Power Minister.


On April 3, the ED had attached a farmhouse worth Rs 27.29 crores in south Delhi purchased by Singh, whose funding "came through shell companies" floated by an industrialist. The total attachment by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe against Singh now stands at Rs 35.22 crore, the first being in March 2016 when assets worth Rs 7.93 crore that included a South Delhi flat were seized.


The ED had, in July last year, made the first arrest in the case after taking LIC agent Anand Chauhan into custody. Chauhan was accused of investing Singh's money in life insurance policies and helping him launder money. The money was invested in insurance policies claiming this money to be his agricultural income.


The CBI had in September 2015 named Virbadhra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and his brother C.L. Chauhan as the accused in its FIR.

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