The Delhi High Court on Friday, accused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of adopting “selective approach” in arresting those accused in the multi-crore money laundering case involving the former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh and demanded the agency to explain as to why Singh was not being arrested in connection with the case and on the other hand the agency was opposing the Bail granted to Vakamulla Chandrashekhar, other accused in the case.
To this, the agency’s counsel Amit Mahajan and Nitesh Rana sought more time from the court, informing that the officer investigating the matter was not vested with sufficient powers to order the arrest of Singh at the moment and the matter will have to be decided by ED's senior officer.
Justice R K Gauba further, asked the ED's lawyers to either withdraw its plea challenging bail granted to Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, the director/ promoter of Tarini Group of Companies, or else the court will pass an order.
ED's lawyers again sought time from the Court to decide whether to proceed with the Bail opposing application or to withdraw the same.
However, the Bench granted no further time and the ED's lawyers decided to withdraw the challenge and the matter was adjudged dismissed as withdrawn by the court.
Chandrasekhar was arrested on February 15 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), accused of assisting Virbhadra Singh in laundering crores of rupees.
Chandrasekhar was kept in judicial custody and was granted bail by a trial court in March 9, after observing that no purpose would be served by keeping him in further custody.
The ED had alleged that Chandrasekhar “had provided an amount of Rs 5.9 crore to Singh and his family members through his three personal bank accounts”.
The ED had in September 2015 lodged the case against the former chief minister and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognizance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI.
The Enforcement Directorate on February 1, filed a chargesheet against former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh and several others including Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan and two other co-accused, Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach booking them under relevant provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Delhi High Court Bench of Justice RK Gauba, had on July 3 dismissed the petitions moved by former Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya Singh and another person Chunni Lal, seeking to quash the money laundering case registered against them.
Pertinently, in November 2015, the Supreme Court had transferred Mr. Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and transferring the petition in the interest of justice and to save the judiciary from any embarrassment.