The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CBI chargesheets Agarwal

New Delhi, Dec. 5: The CBI today chargesheeted the enforcement directorate’s former deputy director, Ashok Agarwal, and nine others in a Rs 12-crore disproportionate assets case.

Agarwal possessed assets worth Rs 12.04 crore against an annual income of Rs 15.81 lakh, said the bureau, which got the finance ministry’s go-ahead to prosecute him a week ago.

Special CBI judge R.K. Gauba fixed January 3 as the next date for hearing.

Several members of Agarwal’s family, including Mohan Lal Agarwal, Vijay Kumar Agarwal, Urvashi Agarwal, Manju Agarwal, Sangita Agarwal, Ram Bilas Agarwal and Sita Devi, have also been named in the chargesheet under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. Accountant Sheesh Ram Saini and chartered accountant S.M. Jindal have also been named.

The CBI found that the former enforcement directorate official, along with Jindal, laundered cash through the “entry cheque system”, a three-layered method of siphoning money.

Agarwal and two of his brothers, Mohan Lal and Vijay Kumar, own 11 companies, all of which were incorporated at 564, Main Rohtak Road in Mundka, Delhi, sources said.

These companies acted as a front and existed only on paper, the bureau alleges.

A scrutiny of Agarwal’s financial affairs revealed that these firms raised capital worth Rs 10 crore from 185 shareholders in four years beginning 1992, CBI sources said.

Further investigations showed that these shareholders gave cheques after receiving cash and commission at the rate of 1 per cent, raising questions about their authenticity. CBI officials claimed none of the shareholders had invested any money in these companies.

Agarwal allegedly invested his money in properties in Ghaziabad, Bahadurgarh and World Trade Centre in the capital in his wife’s name and created several trusts whose beneficiaries were his minor children.

It took the CBI nearly 15 months to get the finance ministry’s nod to prosecute Agarwal, an Indian Revenue Service officer of the 1985 batch. The permission eventually came on November 27.

The former deputy director is also facing charges of corruption and wrongful confinement for falsely framing Delhi-based jeweller Subhash Barjatiya in a $15,000 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act violation case.

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