ED Raids 2 Ex-Punjab Ministers; Seizes Documents, Mobile Phones


New Delhi, Dec 2: “Incriminating” documents, mobile phones, and other electronic devices were seized by the ED after raids against two former Punjab forest ministers and Congress leaders Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangat Singh Giljian and others as part of an alleged forest scam-linked money laundering probe.
The federal probe agency issued a statement on Friday, saying its investigation pertains to charges of “bribery” in the state forest department against the issuance of a permit for tree felling and for transfer/posting in the department, among some other allegations.
The raids were conducted on November 30 in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi at the residential premises of Dharamsot, Giljian, their associates, forest officers and some private individuals, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.
Dharamsot (63), has been a five-time MLA and he was arrested earlier this year by the Punjab Vigilance bureau as part of a case linked to alleged possession of disproportionate assets.
Giljian has been an MLA from the Urmar seat in Hoshiarpur district.
The money laundering case was filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and stems from an FIR of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, the agency said.
The first information report pertains to alleged irregularities in the forest department and allegations of taking bribes by the concerned ministers and officers of the department against the issuance of permits for felling of Khair trees, transfer/posting in the department, issuance of NOC from the department and purchase of tree guards, it said.
During the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices have been seized which, prima facie, reveal “suspicious transactions” involving persons who are under investigation, the ED said. (Agencies)