New Delhi: In a latest development in the illegal sand mining case of Punjab in which Bhupinder Singh Honey, the nephew of former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and others are facing prosecution, the Enforcement Directorate has filed a charge sheet.
The charge sheet was filed against Honey and one other accused before the Special Jalandhar Court under sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The court has fixed April 6 for hearing the case. Harneet Oberoi, the counsel of Honey, refused to speak when contacted by IANS.
The ED twice got Honey’s custody and was later remanded to judicial custody. He was arrested during the intervening night of February 3 and 4 by the ED.
“Honey was evasive and was not cooperating with the probe agency,” ED had said.
Honey’s counsel was allowed to meet him on alternate days. A few documents accessed by IANS said that Honey allegedly used to take money from the officials in lieu of their choice of transfers and postings.
“Moreover, Bhupinder Singh has explicitly stated in his statement during search, inter-alia, that all cash which was seized from his residential premises at Ludhiana (Rs. 4.09 Crore), Sandeep Kumar’s premises at Ludhiana (Rs. 1.99 Crore) and from the Homeland House Premises at Mohali (Rs. 3.89 Crore) actually pertained to him. He admitted to having generated such proceeds of crime through mining related activities, including clearance of mining files and transfer of officials,” read the ED document.
Sources have claimed that since Honey was close to Charanjit Singh Channi, he (Honey) was using the political connection to earn huge profits.
According to the ED documents, Honey has confessed that it was his ten crore rupees which were recovered by the ED during raids. ED has alleged that he was getting money from illegal mining too.
On January 18, the ED had conducted raids at ten different locations, including Homeland Heights which is the residence of Honey. The ED continued raiding different places for two days and recovered incriminating documents.
The ED officials had also recorded the statement of Kudrat Deep Singh, the business partner of Honey.
The ED official had said that they seized incriminating documents pertaining to illegal sand mining, property transactions, cell phones, gold worth above Rs 21 lakhs and a watch worth Rs. 12 lakhs and cash Rs. 10 Crore during the raid.
A source said that the documents recovered by them have confirmed that Kudrat Deep Singh was running two firms and Bhupinder Singh Honey was joint director in them.
As per sources, the firms were basically shell companies and the ED found a lot of money transactions. One of the firms is Provider Overseas Consultancy Limited, which was incorporated in 2018 with 33.33 per cent equal shares.
The ED case is on the basis of a two-year-old FIR. On March 7, 2018 an FIR was lodged by the Punjab Police at its Rahon Police Station. The FIR was filed under sections 21(1), 4(1) of the Mines and Mineral Act read with sections 379, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of UPC. The FIR was against more than ten accused. Honey was not named in the Punjab Police’s FIR and Kudrat Deep Singh was given a clean chit in the matter. The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of this FIR.