ED accuses Darshan Hiranandani and Mahua Moitra of money laundering

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra and businessman Darshan Hiranandani in connection with an alleged cash-for-queries scam. The ED initiated this action based on a CBI complaint, registering an enforcement case information report (ECIR), which is equivalent to a police FIR.

The ED case registered two to three days ago, focuses on probing Moitra and businessman Hiranandani under the civil sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The agency has called both individuals for questioning in this case, but they have yet to appear due to official commitments.

The CBI had previously conducted searches at premises linked to Moitra following the filing of its FIR. Moitra, a former TMC MP from the Krishnanagar seat in West Bengal, has been renominated by the TMC to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The CBI registered an FIR against Moitra and Hiranandani based on directions from the Lokpal, which instructed the agency to file its report within six months. This action stems from allegations made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey against Moitra. Dubey alleged that Moitra had received cash and gifts from Hiranandani in exchange for asking questions in the Lok Sabha to attack industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others.

Moitra and Hiranandani were previously named in a CBI FIR related to the same case. The FIR, registered on March 21, accused them of various offenses, including criminal conspiracy, bribery of a public servant, and abetment. Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha in December 2023 for "unethical conduct" is also mentioned, and she has challenged this expulsion in the Supreme Court.

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