Congress leader Harish Rawat questions timing of ED summons to Punjab CM’s son Raninder

Punjab Congress affairs in-charge Harish Rawat on Saturday questioned the timing of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh in the alleged illegal foreign funds case, saying such acts will not suppress the CM’s voice against the Centre’s farm laws.

Rawat, who is an All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and a former Uttarakhand chief minister, tweeted: “Capt Amarinder Singh is the voice of Punjab and farmers of the country. Just see the timing of the ED summons.”

He was referring to the Punjab chief minister’s move to convene a special assembly session to pass Bills to counter the farm laws earlier this week.

“If you raise a voice then the ED, income tax department and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will come after you. Is this not a message?” Rawat said, criticising the BJP-led central government.

ED SUMMONS RANINDER ON OCTOBER 27

The ED has summoned Raninder Singh in an ongoing probe into illegal foreign funds on October 27. It has asked him to be present for questioning at its zonal office in Jalandhar, officials said.

In August, the ED had filed three applications in a Ludhiana court for the inspection of new documents filed by the income tax department in the cases against the chief minister and his son. The matter is still pending with the district and sessions court in Ludhiana.

In July 2016, Raninder had appeared before the ED in the case and said he had nothing to hide. “I’ll attend the probe as they want me to as I have nothing to hide,” he said.

ACTION UNDER FEMA ON I-T DEPT COMPLAINT

The central agency initiated action against Raninder under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) after the income tax department filed a complaint in a Ludhiana court, saying he had lied under oath about trusts owned by him in Virgin Islands.

In 2016, Raninder was summoned by the ED in connection with a FEMA violation. The IT department said that Raninder misguided the agency by claiming that he did have documents related to the family’s income and trusts abroad.

The IT department alleged that Raninder was a ‘settler’ of Jacaranda Trust, which the family formed. Other undisclosed trusts include Mulwala Holdings Limited and Allworth Venture Holding Limited.

Capt Amarinder Singh and Raninder also allegedly carried out ‘undisclosed’ financial transactions through a bank account in HSBC, Geneva, and HSBC Financial Services Limited (Middle East), the department said.

The IT department said the trusts were established in 2005 and most of the deals were routed through Virgin Islands.

The agency submitted in the court that it has documents sourced from Virgin Islands that show Captain Amarinder Singh and his son Raninder as owners of Marine Mansions in Dubai and other properties in the United Kingdom.

Both Amarinder and Raninder have denied any wrongdoing and termed the charges false.

Hindustan Times made several attempts to reach Raninder for comments on the latest summons but he remained unreachable.

The chief minister’s media adviser, Raveen Thukral, also declined comment.

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