A special money laundering court has ordered attachment of a residential property of former Haryana Chief Minister O.P. Chautala, terming the purchase of the asset from “proceeds of crime” of the teachers recruitment scam.
The court has issued the directive on the complaint of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had seized the flat in May this year under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“On a thorough perusal of the order of the honourable Delhi High Court, the FIR and charge sheet of CBI, the investigations conducted by the ED and the statements recorded under section 50 of PMLA and on careful consideration of the arguments advanced on behalf of the complainant and the defendants, we come to the prima facie conclusion that the defendants (Mr. Chautala) have committed the scheduled offences, generated proceeds of crime and laundered them.”
“No doubt the properties attached are proceeds of crime and are involved in money laundering. We, therefore, order confirmation of the provisional attachment order (issued by ED earlier),” a bench of Chairman K. Raamamoorthy and Member Mukesh Kumar of the Adjudicating Authority of PMLA said in its latest order.
The Authority is a judicial body to decide on matters related to the action of the enforcement.
This was the first attachment order by the agency against the five-time Chief Minister for a flat in Gurgaon on Delhi’s outskirts and, according to ED, the house is in the “exclusive” name of Chautala with a total value of Rs. 46,96,000.
The flat is located in Sector 28 of Tech-city under Haryana Jan Pratinidhi Cooperative Group Housing Society scheme.
The agency is probing the politician and his associates under the PMLA after it registered a case in this regard based on a CBI charge sheet filed in the same case.
78-year-old Chautala, chief of Indian National Lok Dal, along with 54 others, was sentenced by a Delhi court in the 2000 Junior Basic Trained (JBT) Teachers recruitment scam.
On January 22, the trial court had convicted and sentenced Mr. Chautala and nine others, including his son Ajay Chautala, to 10 years’ jail term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers.
Among other convicts, 44 have been sentenced to four years in jail and one was sentenced to a five-year jail term.
All of them were held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy under the IPC and for abusing their official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.