Himachal Cabinet meeting on Monday after arrest in Virbhadra case

Shimla, July 10 (IANS) An emergency meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet will be held here on Monday, an official spokesman said on Sunday.

The spokesman, however, refused to divulge the meeting agenda. The last routine cabinet meeting was held here on July 8.

The meeting comes in the wake of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan’s arrest on Friday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from Chandigarh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Chauhan is accused of investing Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s “tainted” money of Rs 5 crore in LIC policies purchased in Virbhadra’s name and those of his family members, including wife Pratibha Singh.

The ED confirmed Chauhan’s arrest on Twitter on Saturday. This is the first arrest by the ED in the money laundering case against the Chief Minister.

The ED reportedly found that Virbhadra Singh had accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore in his name and in the name of his family members, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income, during his tenure as the Union Steel Minister from 2009 to 2011.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also investigating the case.

Last month, Virbhadra Singh was summoned twice and he allegedly “failed to explain the evidences” against him during CBI questioning in New Delhi in the disproportionate wealth case.

After his questioning, a CBI official claimed that Virbhadra Singh put the onus of explaining the assets on his wife and children.

CBI sources said the Chief Minister’s son Vikramaditya had claimed during CBI’s preliminary enquiry that some of his assets were from the money provided by his father.

A case was registered by the CBI on September 23 last year under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the Chief Minister, his wife Pratibha Singh, LIC agent Anand Chauhan and associate Chunni Lal. The FIR was an outcome of a preliminary inquiry.



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