The judicial custody of LIC agent Anand Chauhan, arrested in a money laundering case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, was on Saturday extended by four days by a special court here.
The court extended Chauhan’s custody till September 7 after Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the matter, submitted that the case was still being probed and his custody should be extended.
The court had on August 20 dismissed Chauhan’s bail plea in the case. Chauhan was arrested from Chandigarh on July 9 under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was allegedly not cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
ED had claimed in the court that during Chauhan’s interrogation, it was revealed that as an LIC agent, he had entered into a modus operandi to launder disproportionate assets by investing in LIC policies.
The agency had submitted that Singh “while serving as a Union minister, had invested huge amounts in purchasing LIC policies in his own name and that of his family members through Chauhan”.
“Virbhadra Singh, while functioning as a Union minister during the period from May 28, 2009, to June 26, 2012, acquired assets, disproportionate to his known sources of income to the tune of Rs 6,03,70,782 and further tried to justify the same in the form of agricultural income.
“Pratibha Singh, wife of Virbhadra Singh, Chauhan, with whom Virbhadra Singh had signed the alleged MoU for managing his apple orchard and Chunni Lal Chauhan, proprietor of M/s Universal Apple Associates, who purportedly showed purchase of apples from Shrikhand Orchard, have facilitated in justifying the disproportionate assets of Virbhadra Singh and thereby abetted the offence,” the ED had alleged.