ED issues fresh summons against Himachal CM

New Delhi:
 The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday issued fresh summons against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for questioning in a money laundering case after he failed to appear before it during the day, an official said.

The senior Congress leader had allegedly avoided earlier summons to get recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is said to have excused himself by referring to his official commitments. 

The ED has already questioned his wife Pratibha Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh in the case.

In the first week of April, the Enforcement Directorate attached Virbhadra Singh's Delhi farmhouse worth Rs 27.29 crore. 

The agency's move came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against Virbhadra Singh and others last month for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 6.03 crore. 

The ED had filed a criminal case under the PMLA against Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha, Life Insurance Corporation agent Anand Chauhan, his associate Chunni Lal, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Lawan Kumar Roach, Vakamullah Chandrashekhara and Ram Prakash Bhatia in 2015 following the CBI's FIR dated September 23, 2015. 

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry found that Virbhadra Singh, as Union Minister from 2009 to 2012, allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.

After his Delhi farmhouse was attached, the Chief Minister accused the central government of harassing him and destabilising the state government, alleging that central agencies like the ED and CBI were being misused against political opponents.