The Enforcement Directorate on Monday filed its first charge sheet in a case of alleged irregularities in land allotment to the Congress-promoted Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in Panchkula and named veteran party leader Motilal Vora and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
A prosecution complaint was filed before a special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Panchkula near Chandigarh, the federal probe agency said.
The agency, in its first charge sheet in the case, named Mr Vora, Mr Hooda and AJL charging they were "directly involved in the process and activity connected with acquisition, possession or projection of proceeds of crime".
Mr Vora, a Rajya Sabha member, is a general secretary in the Congress party.
Mr Hooda has recently threatened that he may chart a new political course.
Mr Hooda, during a recent rally, had slammed the Congress stand on the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, saying it had "lost its way" and was no longer the party it used to be.
The money laundering case pertains to alleged irregularities in the allotment of a plot, located at C-17, Sector-6 in Panchkula, by the Hooda government in 1992 to the AJL.
AJL is controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper.
The ED has already attached the plot, under the PMLA, estimated to be valued at Rs 64.93 crore.
"Hooda favoured the AJL by granting them three undue extensions for construction in the said plot from May, 2008-May 10, 2012 until the AJL completed the construction in the year 2014," the ED said in a statement.
The agency charged that Mr Hooda allotted the pot to AJL by "blatantly misusing his official position".
The former Haryana chief minister, it alleged, "dishonestly allotted the said plot afresh in the guise of re-allotment to the AJL at original rates plus interest in violation of necessary conditions and policy of HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) video order dated August 28, 2005."
The ED filed a criminal complaint of money laundering in this case in 2016 based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint, which had taken over investigation into the case at the request of the BJP government of Haryana, and criminal First Information Reports filed by the Haryana vigilance bureau.
The CBI has already filed a charge sheet against Mr Hooda and others in this case.
The plot was allotted to AJL first in 1982. But the allotment was revoked by the estate officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) by an order in October, 1992 as AJL did not comply with the conditions of allotment letter, the ED said.
The agency had questioned the two Congress leaders in this case last year.
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