Sunday saw developments in another high-profile case carried out by the Enforcement Directorate. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who had failed to appear at previous summons, was greeted by ED officials at his residence and was later arrested in a money laundering case. Now, the agency is due to ask for the leader’s custody in the PMLA court where the hearing will be held on Monday.
Raut, and the Shiv Sena, for their part, have blamed the ED for being in hand with the Centre for action against Opposition parties. The Congress and TMC have also condemned the action, citing a similar narrative against the investigative agency. While the debate continues amid heated political ongoings, the ED will be asking for at least 10 days custody of Raut in the Patra chawl land scam case, sources told News18.
It remains to be seen whether or not the agency’s plea will hold successful, which has directed action against a number of high-profile persons, especially politicians, in the last couple of months. News18 revisits some of these cases:
The ED arrested NCP leader Nawab Malik on February 23 in connection with a money laundering investigation linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his associates, in accordance with the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is currently imprisoned. The ED’s case is based on a FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Ibrahim, a designated global terrorist and a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, and his aides.
The NCP leader had denied all charges levelled against him and had petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a Bombay High Court order that had denied his interim application for immediate release from jail.
The ED summoned National Conference president Farooq Abdullah to its Srinagar office on May 31 in connection with a money laundering case involving alleged financial irregularities at the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA). In 2019, the 84-year-old three-time chief minister of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir recorded his statement in the same case.
According to the National Conference, the veteran leader will continue to cooperate with authorities as he has in the past. Abdullah served as president of the JKCA from 2001 to 2012, and the scam being investigated by the CBI and the ED involves alleged financial misappropriation between 2004 and 2009.
TTV Dhinakaran, the founding general secretary of the Amma Maikal Munnetra Kazhagam party, was charged with bribing Election Commission officials. He had previously appeared before the investigation agency on April 12 as the nephew of V K Sasikala. According to reports, Dhinakaran bribed a senior officer of the Election Commission in order to obtain the AIADMK’s two leaves symbol for the Sasikala faction.
Delhi Minister and AAP leader Satyendar Jain was detained by the ED on May 31 in connection with a money laundering investigation. The ED had arrested the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader the day before under the criminal sections of the PMLA.
After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, requested Jain’s detention for 14 days, Special Judge Geetanjli Goel issued the remand order. He stated that there was a tainted layer of money and that the agency was attempting to determine whether the accused was laundering someone else’s money and whether there were other potential beneficiaries.
Congress leader D K Shivakumar was summoned by a Delhi court in a money laundering case lodged against him in 2018, by Special Judge Vikas Dhull on July 1.
The order was issued after the court took cognizance of a charge sheet filed by the ED through Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana against Shivakumar and others in the case. The ED arrested Shivakumar, the president of the Congress’ Karnataka unit, in the case on September 3, 2019, and he was granted bail by the Delhi High Court on October 23, 2019. The charge sheet was filed by the Income Tax Department against the leader last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores of rupees is the basis for the case.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram is being investigated by the ED for allegedly facilitating visas to Chinese workers for the Talwandi Sabo Power Limited project in exchange for a bribe of Rs 50 lakh. Under the UPA government, the Home Ministry allegedly cleared illegal visas for Chinese nationals in exchange for bribes from Karti Chidambaram in 2011. Karti’s father, P Chidambaram, was the Home Minister at the time. Karti has petitioned the court for bail in this case, which the ED has denied.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, along with his wife Rujira Banerjee, are being investigated by the ED in an alleged coal smuggling case. While Abhishek Banerjee has been questioned twice by the ED in this case, his wife Rujira has yet to be deposed in front of the agency despite summons being issued to her.
Ajit Pawar, NCP Senior NCP leader and Maharashtra government minister Ajit Pawar is being investigated by the ED in a money laundering case involving his family members. According to the ED, illegal money was diverted in several Benami properties that were recently attached.
Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab was recently charged by the ED. The agency may soon summon him to record his statement in the case. Last Thursday, the ED also searched seven locations, including two of Parab’s homes. The money laundering case was filed in connection with a resort built in Dapoli, Ratnagiri, in violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules by Parab.