November 6, 2020 1:45:47 pm
Citing ‘fresh developments’, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s elder brother Agrasain Gehlot has withdrawn his petition against Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was filed following the agency’s raids on his properties in Jodhpur, and is expected to file a fresh petition soon.
“The circumstances have changed, so we have withdrawn the petition with the liberty to file a fresh petition,” Agrasain Gehlot’s counsel Mahesh Gehlot said, terming it as “normal procedure”. Justice Arun Bhansali permitted for the petition to be withdrawn on Wednesday.
The scam concerns alleged illegal export of Muriate of Potash (MoP), which is imported by Indian Potash Limited (IPL) and distributed to farmers, through companies, at subsidised rates. According to officials, between 2007 and 2009, Agrasain, who was an authorised dealer for IPL, bought MoP at subsidised rates. It was sold to certain companies which, rather than distributing it to farmers, exported it. His lawyers have maintained that the fault lies with the registered companies to which MoP was sold, and not with Agrasain’s company Anupam Krishi itself.
In the petition, now withdrawn, Gehlot had pleaded with the HC to direct the ED to desist from coercive action and not proceed arbitrarily. “We are in the clear and have been cooperating with the investigation,” Mahesh said. Agrasain had moved the High Court days after the ED raids in August on multiple properties of Anupam Krishi, during the rebellion by 19 MLAs led by former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. In the fresh petition, Agrasain will cite certain additional SC judgements and hopes to build a stronger case.
Accusing the ED of acting in an arbitrary manner, sources close to Agrasain said that “ED officers are not attaching the bank accounts of the exporters and the transporters, or the people who indulged in this. They have not been raided.” The bank accounts of Agrasain and others in his immediate family continue to be frozen.
“What Agrasain ji did was merely supply to registered dealers. This person in not a politician, nor has he indulged in political activities or taken any advantage (of his brother being the CM), he is a gentleman. This is total misuse of bureaucracy and administration,” the source said.
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