The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached movable and immovable properties to the tune of Rs 11.62 crore belonging to seven accused in the multi-crore national highway-74 corruption case on Wednesday, said an official release by the Central agency.
The case pertains to wrongdoing in land acquisition for construction and widening of the 374-km long Haridwar-Bareilly stretch of national highway (NH)-74 in Uttarakhand. Some select beneficiaries are alleged to have incorrectly sold farmland as commercial land for the project to receive at least 10 times higher compensation from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Most of the cases were reported from Kashipur, Jaspur, Bajpur, and Sitarganj areas of Udham Singh Nagar district.
The ED stated that acting under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, on the basis of the FIR registered and the charge sheet filed by Uttarakhand police in the case, it has attached both movable and immovable properties valuing Rs 11.62 crore belonging to Barinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Harjinder Singh, Balwant Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Vikramjeet Singh, their family members and M/s Fibremarx Papers Pvt Ltd run by Jasdeep Singh Goraya.
“The attached properties consist of 23 immovable properties including agricultural land, industrial land, commercial plots and buildings situated in US Nagar district of Uttarakhand and movable properties which include funds in five bank accounts,” the ED stated.
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The Central agency also claims to have found during its probe that “farmers and landowners got higher compensation for their land sold at non-agricultural rates in connivance with revenue officers, which was utilised in buying the immovable property, making deposits in bank and giving commission to revenue officers.”
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“Accused Barinder and Balwant Singh diverted the proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 9 crore while Harinder Singh transferred proceeds to the tune of Rs 1 crore to the accounts of Jasdeep Singh Goraya and Mehak Kaur which was utilised by them in their company M/s Fibremarx Papers Pvt Ltd,” the statement said.
The ED has been probing the NH-74 case since 2018, which includes revenue officials, NHAI officials, farmers, builders and middlemen as some of the accused.
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