After seizing property papers worth over Rs 500 crore, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also found details of as many as 108 bank accounts in the name of advocate Mukesh Mittal and his associates with various banks across the country. ED on Wednesday wrote to the banks concerned, asking them to immediately freeze the bank accounts. The same was done at 2 pm.
The raids at the residence of Mittal and his staff Tuesday were the fallout of a vital piece of evidence, which, incidentally, the advocate had himself submitted in an ongoing case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court last month.
Mittal had placed on record a transcript of the conversation between him and advocate G S Sawhney during a hearing of the case in the High Court.
In that conversation (see box below), Mittal is asking for money from Sawhney, which is supposed to be meant for his former client, O P Mittal. Mittal clearly states the money is to be given in two cheques, which should be handed over to his employee and not to O P Mittal.
According to the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the information about the case was received from the UT Vigilance wing when they were investigating a case in which complainant Tara Singh, a Non-Residential Indian (NRI), alleged that his Sector 20-C SCF was a sold of illegally by some persons in 2006.
The complaint was given by Tara Singh suspecting involvement of four persons — Sawhney’s munshi Harnek Singh, OP Mittal, Advocate JB Singh and Jaswant Singh, who were suspected to be involved in forging the power of attorney of Tara Singh and selling the SCF. Harnek had allegedly sold the property to OP Mittal.
An ED officer said that during investigation of that case, they found the transcript of this conversation. “On probing the role, we found that Mittal was the middleman of the deal and had also taken some commission for selling the property,” said the officer.
When contacted, Mittal said, “I had nothing to do with the money. I was only trying to get my client, OP Mittal’s money back who had purchased the property not knowing that the documents of the property were forged”.
ED had frozen the bank accounts of Sawhney’s wife about a month back. Following this, Sawhney’s wife had moved the high court. Mittal had placed this conversation as a record in the court.
During the search of his residence Tuesday, ED found more than 200 cheques out of which 127 were which were signed by his typist, Praveen Kumar and driver Lal Chand.
A senior officers said the case against Mittal was a fit case to be tried under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
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