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JUDICIARY WATCH

Court seeks ED's response on Virbhadra Singh's plea

PTI/Agencies, New Delhi
21/09/2018   0 Comments

A special court has granted two weeks to the Enforcement Directorate to respond to a plea of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh seeking certain documents in a money laundering case against him. Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj directed the probe agency to file by October 5 its reply to the applications moved by Singh and other accused, including his wife Pratibha Singh and LIC agent Anand Chauhan. Special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, had sought six weeks from the court for filing the response. However, the court said "the period of six weeks would be too long a date" and allowed two weeks. During the proceedings, the copies of the applications moved by the accused persons were received by advocate Samvedna Verma on behalf of the ED.

In their applications, moved through senior advocate Rebecca John and advocate Tarannum Cheema, the accused persons have told the court that they have not received several documents filed with the charge sheet while many papers supplied to them were not readable. Besides 83-year-old Singh and his 62-year-old wife, the others named as accused in the ED charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, include politician's son Vikramaditya, Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan and two other co-accused--Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach. The case also involves Managing Director of Tarani Infrastructure, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar and one Ram Prakash Bhatia as accused.

In a separate case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation to the matter, the former Himachal Pradesh chief minister, his wife and Chauhan were charge sheeted along with others. The CBI had claimed that Virbhadra Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister under UPA government. The ED filed a case on the basis of the CBI case. The accused have denied all the allegations levelled against them.

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