The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra in cash-for-query row case, sources said.
This is the second case which the ED so far has registered against Moitra. The first one is linked to the discrepancies in a foreign exchange contravention case under which the ED has issued three summons to Moitra and she did not appear yet before the investigators in response to the case.
The move comes days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a First Information Report (FIR) agaist Moitra acting on the directions of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal.
The Lokpal had issued the directions to the CBI after receiving findings of the agency’s preliminary inquiry into allegations made by Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.
The Lokpal had directed the CBI to submit its findings in six months before it after investigating all aspects of the complaints against her in the matter.
Lok Sabha had expelled Moitra in December last year for “unethical conduct”. The former MP has challenged her expulsion in the Supreme Court and will again be on the hustings during the general elections as the TMC’s candidate from the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.
BJP MP Dubey has alleged that Moitra asked questions in Lok Sabha in exchange for cash and gifts from Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
Moitra, however, has denied all charges.
The Lokpal found that “allegations levelled against the RPS (Respondent Public Servant), most of which are supported by cogent evidence, are extremely serious in nature, especially in view of the position held by her.” “Therefore, in our considered opinion, a deeper probe is required to establish the truth. This is vital in view of the position and status held by the RPS at the relevant point of time,” said the order of the Lokpal bench, comprising Justice Abhilasha Kumari (judicial member) and members Archana Ramasundaram and Mahender Singh.
Moitra has been in controversy since BJP MP Dubey accused her of asking questions in the Lok Sabha to target the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for gifts.
Dube had also accused Moitra of compromising national security for monetary gains.
Moitra was expelled as a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) on December 8 following the Ethics panel’s determination of her guilt in the ‘cash-for-query’ case. Moitra has denied any wrongdoing and claimed she was being targeted as she had raised questions on the deals of the Adani Group.
“Neither has Lok Pal uploaded any referral order on website as per Lokpal Act and nor has CBI put out anything official. ‘Sources’ telling journos as per usual media circus. Hope Rs 13,000 crore Adani coal scam merits CBI PE before my witchhunt,” Moitra had said on X in November. (ANI)