Virbhadra case: Court takes congnisance of chargesheet against LIC agent

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New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday took cognisance of an ED chargesheet against LIC agent Anand Chauhan in a disproportionate assets case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, observing it had territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Special Judge Vinod Kumar also directed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheet and other documents be supplied to the accused Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent and fixed September 26 for further hearing in the case.

The court earlier asked Special Public Prosecutor Naveen Matta to explain as to how the court had territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint when all transaction appeared to have taken place in Himachal Pradesh.

Matta told the court that the alleged proceeds of crime were utilised for acquiring a plot in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash in the name of Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh.

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The court appreciated Matta’s submission and said: “I am convinced that this court has territorial jurisdiction to entertain this complaint.”

The court observed that the evidence collected by the ED reflects the proceeds of crime.

The court also asked Chauhan to approach the Delhi High Court on his bail application and allowed his plea for exemption from personal appearance from day-to-day hearings during trial.

The court directed that he shall be represented by his lawyer on each date.

The ED had filed the chargesheet against Chauhan on Tuesday.

The ED had told the court that further investigation regarding the role of Virbhadra Singh and his wife was on and it may file a supplementary chargesheet later.

Chauhan is accused of investing Virbhadra Singh’s “tainted” money of Rs 5.14 crore in LIC policies purchased in Virbhadra’s name and those of his family members, including wife Pratibha Singh, the ED said in its chargesheet.

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The ED arrested Chauhan on July 8 from Chandigarh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

His was the first arrest made by the ED in the money laundering case against the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister.

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

A probe had 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.



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