ED, CBI Closing In On Former Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra SinghSonia Gandhi speaks with former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh during an elelction rally. (Shyam Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a new development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a businessman in connection with its money laundering probe against Congress leader and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others.

Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, the director of Tarini Group of Companies, was arrested on 15 February by the investigating agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency had earlier said Chandrasekhar “had provided Rs 5.9 crore to Singh and his family members through his three personal bank accounts”.

When the source of funds was inquired into, the ED said, “It came to light that the amount was received through a web of firms indulging in accommodation entry operation.”

A special court had on 11 February summoned Singh, his wife and three others as accused in a Rs 7 crore money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate had charged 83-year-old Singh, a former Union minister, with projecting around Rs 7 crore “proceeds of crime” as agricultural income in connivance with his wife and others and investing it in purchasing Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) policies.

During the court proceedings, Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann had said that there was “prima facie” enough evidence against the accused persons and directed them to appear before the court on 22 March.

Besides Singh and his 62-year-old wife, the court summoned Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan and others. The ED had also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan in the case.

In a separate case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Singh, his wife and Chauhan were chargesheeted along with others.

The other accused in the CBI case are Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, V Chandrasekhar and co-accused Lawan Kumar, Prem Raj and Ram Prakash Bhatia.

The CBI had claimed that Virbhadra Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as Union minister.

Also Read: How Virbhadra Singh Escaped The Law

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