NVP Delhi Bureau
New Delhi (March 23) – Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh with three other accused were granted bail by a special court in a Rs seven-crore money laundering case.
All the ex-CM, his wife and other accused were present in the court as they were all summoned by thecourt during its last hearing on February 12.
Chunni Lal, a fruit commission agent owning Universal Apple Asssociate, Prem Kumar and Lawan Kumar Roach were also given relief by providing a bail grant.
Each of them furnished personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the same amount.
The enforcement directorate was opposing the bail plea of the accused, seeking judicial custody to all of them.
“During the proceeding, we opposed the bail of all accused under the Prevention of money Launder Act and sought the judicial custody for them,” said Nitesh Rana , ED defense counsel
The court, however, granted them bail considering they were not arrested by the ED during investigation.
The court had on February 12 summoned Singh, his wife and three others as accused in the case, after taking cognisance of the ED charge sheet against them and others, saying prima facie there enough evidence against the accused and had directed them to appear before on March 22.
The ED had charge sheeted 83-year-old Singh, accusing him of projecting around Rs 7 crore “proceeds of crime” as agricultural income in connivance with his wife and others and invested them in purchasing LIC policies.Besides Singh and his 62-year-old wife Pratibha Singh, the court summoned Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan and two other co-accused, Prem Raj and Lawan Kumar Roach.
The final report had also named as accused Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) agent Anand Chauhan, against whom a charge sheet was earlier filed by the agency. All the six have been charge sheeted under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).Chauhan, arrested on July 9, 2016 by the ED under several provisions of the PMLA, was granted bail on January 2 in the case.