New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) A special court here on Thursday, posted for next week, the hearing on the bail plea of LIC agent Anand Chauhan after the Enforcement Directorate (ED), opposing the plea, told the court that he was instrumental in laundering disproportionate assets of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
In a reply filed before Special Judge Vinod Kumar, ED prosecutor Navin Kumar Matta argued that if Chauhan is freed on bail, he may try to interfere the ongoing proceedings by attempting to conceal,destroy and transfer the proceeds of crime involved in the offence.
The court adjourned the hearing for July 26.
Matta told court that Chauhan had not been cooperating in investigation and if he released on bail, then he can dissolve the money trail which is essential in proving the complicity of the co-accused and other persons.
“…cash has been regularly deposited in the bank account of Anand Chauhan which has been further been laundered for purchase of LIC policies in names of Virbhadra Singh and family members,” he said.
“It was essential to ascertain the actual source of said policies and modus operandi which continued till 2012 but Anand Chauhan did not giving satisfactory answers to the questions put to him.”
Chauhan is accused of investing 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 arrested Chauhan on July 8 from Chandigarh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
This is the first arrest by the ED in the money laundering case against the Himachal Pradesh 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.