M A I N   N E W S

CBI raids 24 places of Chautalas
Detects assets worth Rs 1400 crore
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
The CBI today conducted simultaneous raids at 24 places across six states and union territories against former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala for allegedly amassing property worth over Rs 1400 crore.

The raids were carried out after the CBI registered a case against Chautala, his family members and other ‘unknown persons’ accusing him of amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during the period from July 1999 to March 2005, official sources said.

The searches were conducted at Sirsa, Dabwali, Tejakhera (Haryana), Bhunter (HP), Udham Singh Nagar (Uttaranchal), Gurgaon (Haryana), Jaipur, Chandigarh and Delhi.

The list of properties allegedly belonging to Chautala or his family members include three plots in Gurgaon Phase V worth Rs 150 crore, a hotel and a restaurant in upmarket Karol Bagh worth Rs 150 crore, a shopping mall in Karol Bagh worth Rs 180 crore, a plot on Ring Road worth Rs 120 crore and a plot again in Karol Bagh worth Rs 55 crore, the CBI’s FIR alleged.

The FIR also lists a hotel in Manali worth Rs 95 crore, a hotel-cum-restaurant at Pinjore (Rs 15 crore), flats in Skipper building, Mussoorie (Rs 4 crore), a Honda Scooter showroom in Ajraundha Chowk, Faridabad (Rs 110 crore), four plots in Panchkula and one plot in Mansa Devi Complex (Rs 12 crore each), 400 acre agricultural land in Sirsa (Rs 25 crore), 1500 acre benami plot in Faridabad (Rs 150 crore), a farmhouse on the outskirts of Delhi (Rs 20 crore) and property worth Rs 20 crore in Udham Singh Nagar.

It lists the value of all properties at Rs 1,467 crore.

An amount of Rs 1.34 crore in five bank accounts of the family in different banks were frozen by the investigating agency today, sources said.

During the searches, the CBI also recovered arms licences for 17 weapons from a farmhouse in Mehrauli and the agency would verify them before registering yet another case under the arms act against the Chautalas, CBI sources said.

Mr Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala are at present in the United States and the latter is likely to return home shortly in the wake today’s CBI raids.

The former Haryana Chief Minister had in the past maintained that whatever properties he and his sons owned had been disclosed in their income tax returns and in the affidavits filed during elections. He had said whatever properties CBI finds as their’s during the raids, it could keep them with it.

The CBI had stumbled upon the various assets allegedly belonging to Chautalas during the searches conducted by the investigating agency on April 7, 2005 in connection with the probe into Junior Basic Trained (JBT) teachers’ recruitment scam ordered by the Supreme Court.

The CBI had then informed the Haryana Government for necessary action since it did not have jurisdiction to act on this information suo-moto.

Subsequently, a disproportionate assets case was registered on April 3, 2006 after a notification was issued by the Centre in response to the request made by the State Government asking for CBI investigation.

“The locations selected for searches today were intended mainly to collect evidence and hence were restricted to residential premises and some locations like office of a Chartered Accountant and the premises of a Trading Company run by the accused persons,” a CBI spokesperson told The Tribune here.

“During the searches, CBI has found evidence of possession of extensive movable assets and also documents regarding immovable assets. Certain other immovable assets have also been unearthed during the searches,” he said adding “the phenomenal extent of properties seemingly accumulated by the accused persons would require extensive and in-depth investigations by CBI.”


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