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Business News/ Politics / News/  ED summons Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat, daughter-in-law in money laundering case
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ED summons Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat, daughter-in-law in money laundering case

Enforcement Directorate summons Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat and daughter-in-law for questioning in a money laundering case. Raids conducted earlier yielded ₹1.20 crore, gold, and documents. Investigation linked to two separate FIRs in Uttarakhand.

Dehradun: Inside of the Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat's residence after ED officials conducted raids here, in Dehradun, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
Dehradun: Inside of the Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat's residence after ED officials conducted raids here, in Dehradun, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

Enforcement Directorate on Friday summoned Congress leader and former Uttarakhand minister Harak Singh Rawat and his daughter-in-law for questioning in connection with a money laundering investigation, PTI reported citing official sources.

“Rawat has been asked to depose before the central agency here on February 29 and his daughter-in-law Anukriti on March 7," the sources told PTI.

Earlier, the agency had raided the premises of Rawat and others on February 7 and it seized Indian and foreign currency notes worth about 1.20 crore, gold and "voluminous" documents during these searches.

Also Read: Enforcement Directorate requests look out notice against Byju Raveendran, says report

However, an official statement issued by the federal agency a day later did not specify what was recovered from where.

ED is investigating Birendra Singh Kandari, who is described as a “close associate" of Rawat, along with Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer and former DFO Kishan Chand, and former forest range officer Brij Bihari Sharma.

Also Read: Enforcement Directorate searches underway at Hiranandani Group over alleged FEMA violations

PTI reported, Rawat, aged 63, is a former forest minister of the state, who left the BJP before the 2022 Uttarakhand assembly elections to join the Congress party. The ED's probe into these individuals is linked to two separate FIRs filed in the state.

One of the FIRs was registered by the Uttarakhand Police against Kandari and others.

Kandari and Narendra Kumar Walia hatched a "criminal conspiracy" with Rawat and registered two powers of attorney for land, for which a court had cancelled the sale deed, the agency alleged.

Also Read: Congress accuses Modi govt of ‘financial terrorism’, claims BJP receives huge donations following I-T, ED raids

They illegally sold this land to Rawat's wife Deepti Rawat and one Laxmi Singh, on which the Doon Institute of Medical Science, Dehradun was constructed under Shrimati Poorna Devi Memorial Trust, it said.

The second FIR was registered by the vigilance department of the state government against Sharma, Chand and others under various sections of the IPC, Forest Conservation Act, Wild Life (Protection) Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Also Read: ED conducts raids against company promoted by former UP MLA in connection with bank loan fraud

Kishan Chand, the then divisional forest officer (DFO), and Sharma, the forest ranger of that time, in a criminal conspiracy with other bureaucrats and Rawat managed to publish a tender of a higher amount than the authorised financial powers, the ED claimed, adding the tender was also not as per the rules/guidelines of the state government.

They also “fabricated" documents and “misused" the funds under the heads of Tiger Conservation Foundation and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), and caused a wrongful loss worth crores of rupees to the Uttarakhand government, it said.

“They are also alleged to have illegally cut more than 6,000 trees against the authorisation of 163 trees," the ED said.

Also Read: ED issues 7th summons to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, AAP calls it ‘revenge for Chandigarh Mayoral polls’

Chand, along with Sharma, was suspended from their positions in the forest department due to suspected irregularities. Chand was apprehended in Delhi in December 2022 and subsequently granted conditional bail by the high court in April 2023.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 11:44 AM IST
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