SC stays FEMA proceedings against Natwar Singh

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{image-natwar singh_05052008.jpg}New Delhi, May 5: The Supreme Court today stayed the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate(ED) under Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA) against former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh and his son Jagat Singh for their alleged involvement in the Oil-for-Food scam, which came to light through the Volcker Committee Report.

A bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi also issued notices to the ED on the petition filed by Natwar Singh and his son Jagat Singh, who was a Congress MLA from Rajasthan. Senior Counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioners, contended before the Court that the ED was not conducting free and fair investigation in the case and documents which were in favour of the petitioners and show their innocence were being overlooked and used selectively. Besides, the entire investigation was politically motivated and they were being framed.

Mr Natwar Singh had to resign from the Union Cabinet in the wake of the scandal.

In 2001 ill-gotten money, amounting to over Rs two crore was allegedly deposited in the accounts of the companies of Andaleep Sehgal, a close relative of Natwar Singh.

The bills for oil in exchange for food items sent to Iraq were allegedly inflated.

An enquiry committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India R S Pathak was constituted by the Government of India to look into the allegations.


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