M A I N   N E W S

Money Laundering
Chautala & sons booked
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
The Enforcement Directorate has booked former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his two sons, Ajay Chautala and Abhey Chautala, on money laundering charges following a CBI charge sheet against the three in a court in which the agency has accused them of owning assets disproportionate to their legal income.

Official sources said the agency has booked them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. With the CBI furnishing details of their money laundering in its charge sheet, it was almost expected that the ED, which is the nodal agency to look into cases of money laundering, would initiate action against the Chautalas.

Om Prakash Chautala is the second Chief Minister, after Madhu Koda of Jharkhand, to be booked on money laundering charges.

The CBI in its charge sheet filed in the Karkardooma court on March 26 had said the former CM owned assets worth over Rs 6.09 crore more than his known sources of income.

Ajay Chautala had accumulated illegal assets worth more than over Rs 16.5 crore during the period between 1993 and 2006. Abhey owned assets worth Rs 119.69 crore between 2000 and 2005 though his income was only over Rs 22.89 crore, the CBI had said.

Yoginder Gupta adds from Chandigarh: Haryana politics is likely to hot up with the registration of a case under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the Chautalas. The next few days are sure to witness allegations and counter-allegations between the INLD and the ruling Congress. In fact, a verbal battle has already begun.

Abhey Singh Chautala, younger son of the INLD supremo and MLA from Ellenabad, described the ED action as a “political conspiracy hatched by the Congress to divert public attention from its various failures in Haryana.”

He said it was an old tactic of the Congress to harass its opponents with the help of official agencies.

He said earlier the CBI had filed a case accusing them of owning assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. But the agency had nothing to prove the allegation. Similarly, the ED case would turn out to be an exercise in futility.

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Karan Singh Dalal, who was part of a relentless campaign against the Chautalas while they were in power, demanded that the ED must move immediately for the cancellation of the court’s permission to the INLD president to go abroad.

He claimed if Chautala was allowed to out of the country, he would not return. Dalal also demanded that Chautala should quit the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly till his name was cleared by the court. The CBI filed a case against the Chautalas after the Congress submitted a charge sheet to the then Governor of Haryana, alleging that while in power, the Chautalas had amassed assets worth crores in illegally. The charge sheet had also alleged that they had invested part of this money abroad.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |