PMLA Case: Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh's LIC agent Chauhan seeks interim bail
New Delhi, Nov 19: LIC agent Anand Chauhan, an accused chargesheeted in a money laundering case allegedly involving Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has moved a special court here seeking interim bail.
The application filed by Chauhan has sought permission to attend the wedding of his niece. Advocate Tarannum Cheema, who moved the plea on behalf of Chauhan, has sought the interim bail for her client from November 25 to December 10. Chauhan was arrested from Chandigarh on July 9 last year under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was allegedly not cooperating with the investigating officer.
Advocate N K Matta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, had alleged before the court that during Chauhan's interrogation, it was found that as an LIC agent he had entered into a modus operandi to launder disproportionate assets by investing in LIC policies. The agency had alleged that Singh "while serving as a Union minister, invested huge amounts in purchasing LIC policies in his own name and that of his family members through Chauhan".
"Virbhadra Singh, while functioning as a Union minister during the period from May 28, 2009, to June 26, 2012, acquired assets, disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs 6,03,70,782 and further tried to justify the same in the form of agricultural income.
"Pratibha Singh, wife of Virbhadra Singh, Chauhan, with whom Virbhadra Singh had signed the alleged MoU for managing his apple orchard and Chunni Lal Chauhan, proprietor of M/s Universal Apple Associates, who purportedly showed purchase of apples from Shrikhand Orchard, have facilitated in justifying the disproportionate assets of Virbhadra Singh and thereby abetted the offence," the ED had alleged.
Chauhan is also chargesheeted, along with 82-year old Singh, his wife and others, in a separate case filed by the CBI in the matter. Singh and the other accused have denied all allegations made against them by the CBI and ED.