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ED may file case against Amar Singh, wife for money laundering
NEW DELHI, Jun 5 (Agencies):
Published on 5 Jun. 2011 11:38 PM IST
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Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to register a case against Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and his wife Pankaja under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sources in the ED said they will also probe Singh’s investments into Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited and may seek clarifications from the Bollywood icon.
If a case is filed against him, Singh will become only the fourth political figure to have been booked under the PMLA. Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, sacked telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi are already being probed for violations of the money laundering law.
Last week, the Allahabad HC rejected Singh’s petition seeking the quashing of an FIR registered against him for alleged diversion of Rs 400 crore through a maze of shell companies. A division bench of the HC also asked the Enforcement Directorate to take up investigation of the matter within two weeks. The court also asked the agency to submit a status report within a month.
Singh dismissed the charge that he was laundering money through these shell companies as alleged in the FIR. An FIR lodged with UP police -- the basis for HC order for probe against Singh --- alleges that the shell companies executed projects which they were not equipped to do. In some other cases, the companies in question showed huge profits even though they were not doing business on a corresponding scale.
Singh denied the charge that he received any illegal money. He said he has nothing to hide, and ED is welcome to investigate the case. He expressed satisfaction that it is a central agency, and not the Mayawati government in UP, which will be probing the case.
Singh said UPDC was a non-profit organization which had other distinguished members such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani, then MD of Reliance, Pratap Reddy and Kumar Manglam Birla were the other people associated with it. Five companies – Eastern Exim Scrips Pvt Ltd, Shyambaba Merchant Pvt Ltd and HP Videotech Pvt Ltd — were merged with Pankaja Art and Credit Pvt Ltd. and Mercury Merchants Pvt Ltd and SKJ Consultants Pvt Ltd. The last one merged with Sarvottam Caps Ltd and shares were offered at a premium in the accounting year 2003-04 when the petitioner had become chairman of the UPDC.
A division bench of the HC had said in its order that the matter required extensive investigation since shell companies to whom money was allegedly transferred were registered in different states, and ED was the right agency to probe the case.
According to an FIR registered against him at the Babupurwa police station in Kanpur on October 15, 2009, Singh had received money illegally as chairman of the UP Development Council (UPDC) during the SP regime and this money was invested in 43 companies by oversubscribing their shares.
Later on these companies were allegedly amalgamated with the companies in which Singh and his family members were main shareholders.
While the case was being investigated by the UP Police, it was later referred to the ED on the direction of the Allahabad HC. Last year when at the direction of the court ED Delhi Zone had begun probing the case, the former SP general secretary had alleged harassment, and subsequently the case was shifted to the ED headquarters.

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