5 October 2016
Anti-corruption agencies in India are getting bold enough to charge powerful politicians like Chief Ministers and Union Ministers. For example CM Jayalalita was charged and jailed. For the time being all those charged are from the opposition. Eventually they will also have to deal with corrupt politicians in the ruling party as well.
Enforcement Directorate will take possession of assets belonging tom Himachal Chief Minister (CM) Virbhadra Singh and his wife, Pratibha Singh, after a provisional order given by a special anti-money laundering court. The court ordered the seizure of insurance policies, bank balances, a fixed deposit and two floors of a building in south Delhi’s posh Greater Kailash-I in South Delhi, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The provisional order related to assets estimated at $1.2 million.
Court said that the redemption of LIC policies to the bank accounts and then using the money to purchase the assets showed that the CM and his wife were engaging in money laundering. In order to show that the money was earned genuinely they showed it as agricultural income using a fruit merchant business of Chunni Lal Chauhan of Universal Apple Associate as the source of funds. Singh used the agricultural income to purchase life insurance policies worth $900,000 in his and his family members’ names through Anand Chauhan, an insurance agent. CM Singh got his black money during the time he was the Union Minister of Steel.
CM Singh can appeal against the order issued by the ED, before the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA within 180 days. If the Adjudicating Authority also confirms ED’s order, the CM can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal of the PMLA within 45 days.
India: Enforcement Directorate to take possession of Himachal CM’s assets
5 October 2016