New Delhi, Apr 25: A court here today sought the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) response on a plea filed by former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife, seeking a permanent exemption from personal appearances in a Rs 7-crore money laundering case against them.
Hearing the applications filed by the Congress leader and his wife, Pratibha Singh, Special Judge Arvind Kumar sought the ED's response by May 17, when it will hear the matter again. The court also directed the special prosecutors of the agency, N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, to ensure that two of the co-accused in the case -- Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach -- were given the copies of certain documents that were filed along with the chargesheet.
The court had earlier granted bail to Singh, his wife and certain other accused, including Prem Raj, Lawan Kumar Roach and the owner of Universal Apple Associate, Chunni Lal Chauhan. The court had, on February 12, issued summonses against the accused, stating that there was "prima facie" enough evidence against them.
Another accused, LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who was arrested on July 9, 2016, was granted bail in January this year. The ED had filed the chargesheet against Singh (83), accusing him of projecting around Rs 7 crore -- "proceeds of crime" -- as agricultural income, in connivance with his wife and others, and investing the amount in LIC policies.