Chandigarh, Nov 6 (PTI) Punjab AAP MLA Jaswant Singh Gajjan Majra was on Monday arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering investigation linked to a bank fraud case, official sources said.
The legislator was taken into custody under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he was detained by agency officials from a public meeting he was holding in Malerkotla, they said.
The sources alleged that Gajjan Majra, a legislator from the Amargarh assembly constituency, had skipped multiple summons issued to him in the past and hence, was detained by the officials and then arrested after questioning.
The Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang charged that the way Gajjan Majra was picked up from a public meeting by the ED shows the BJP's politics of defaming the party.
He said the MLA has been facing a case since before he joined AAP.
The central agency raided the MLA and some others in September last year as part of this PMLA investigation that stems from a March 2022 FIR filed by the CBI (Anti-Corruption Branch, Chandigarh).
The CBI FIR was registered against Tara Corporation Limited (TCL), renamed Malaudh Agro Limited on September 24, 2018, its directors Jaswant Singh (Gajjan Majra), Balwant Singh, Kulwant Singh, Tejinder Singh, their associates and other sister concerns in Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Khanna, Payal and Dhuri.
The ED said it had seized mobile phones, hard drives and Indian currency worth Rs 32 lakh from multiple premises that were searched.
It said the Bank of India's Model Town branch in Ludhiana had sanctioned a loan on cash credit limits aggregating Rs 35 crore to the company as against hypothecation of stocks and book debts on 23.09.2011 under sole banking arrangement.
"The account was also sanctioned an ad hoc limit of Rs 6 crore in February 2014 which is yet to be repaid by the company," the agency said.
TCL's account was declared a Non-Performing Asset on March 31, 2014, the ED had said.
It added that the aggregate loan outstanding is Rs 76 crore and Jaswant Singh, Balwant Singh, Kulwant Singh and Tejinder Singh were directors and guarantors in the loan account of Tara Corporation Limited.
"When a fresh RoC (Registrar of Companies) search was initiated by the bank in May 2016, it was observed that there was a drastic change in the directors of the company (without intimation to or prior permission of bank) and Kirpal Singh Tiwana, Harish Kumar and Lakhbir Singh had been appointed as directors of TCL and principal person Balwant Singh had resigned from the directorship," the ED alleged.
Later, Balwant Singh had also been re-appointed as director of the company on May 25, 2016, it said.
"On the basis of information available, an investigation was initiated against the above-said persons and their associates in order to ascertain the money laundering activities undertaken by them for laundering their proceeds of crime," the agency added. PTI NES CHS VSD IJT