ED initiates probe into cash-for-query case involving Mahua Moitra, Darshan Hiranandani

The ED action is based on a FIR registered by the CBI against the expelled Lok Sabha member

April 02, 2024 08:33 pm | Updated April 03, 2024 11:10 am IST - New Delhi

TMC candidate Mahua Moitra at an election campaign rally for Lok Sabha polls at Dhubuliya, in Nadia district.

TMC candidate Mahua Moitra at an election campaign rally for Lok Sabha polls at Dhubuliya, in Nadia district. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated a money laundering probe against Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra and Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani in connection with the cash-for-query allegations.

The ED action is based on a First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the former Lok Sabha member and Mr. Hiranandani, following a directive from the Lokpal.

Earlier, the CBI had submitted a preliminary inquiry report before the Lokpal on its findings related to the charges. It was alleged that Ms. Moitra had shared her Lok Sabha login credentials, i.e. user identity and password of the Lok Sabha “Member’s Portal” with Mr. Hiranandani, who by using the login credentials posted questions in her name in Parliament, while she was travelling abroad.

Based on the CBI report, the Lokpal said the first charge is prima facie substantiated.

It was also alleged that the then Lok Sabha member had received luxury items, travel expenses, holidays, etc. from Mr. Hiranandani and there was a demand for his support for the renovation of her then official bungalow in New Delhi.

The Lokpal order mentioned that the charges were also substantiated in the CBI report. The agency had alleged that around the time the bungalow was renovated, the portal login credentials were shared with Mr. Hiranandani.

The ED has already been conducting an inquiry under the Foreign Exchange Management Act in the same matter.

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