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Chautala raids: Properties worth Rs 1,400 crore found
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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May 05, 2006 09:53 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has claimed to have unearthed properties (both moveable and immoveable) worth Rs 1,400 crore during raids on the offices and residences of former chief minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala and members of his family.

The raids began on Thursday morning and continued till late in the evening.

"CBI on Thursday conducted searches at 24 locations spread over the  towns of Sirsa, Dabwali, Tejakhera (Haryana), Bhunter (Himachal Pradesh), Udham Singh Nagar (Uttaranchal), Gurgaon (Haryana), Jaipur, Chandigarh and Delhi after registering a case against a former chief minister of Haryana, his family members and other unknown persons alleging that they have amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income from July 1999 to March, 2005. 

"During this nearly six-year period, the former CM and some of his family members were public servants. The case was registered by CBI after a notification was issued by the government of India in response to the request made by the state government of Haryana asking  for CBI investigation," a press note issued by the agency late on Thursday night said.

Three plots belonging to the Chautalas in Gurgoan have been estimated at Rs 150 crore. A hotel in Karol Bagh and a mall in the same locality have been put together worth Rs 330 crore. A plot on Delhi's Ring road has been assessed worth Rs 120 crore. Another plot in Karol Bagh, the main shopping centre in the central Delhi, is worth Rs 55 crore. In Uttranchal alone the family has 600 acres of land. The total cash deposits in all the accounts have been estimated at around Rs 1.34 crore.

"In the searches conducted by the investigating agency on April 7, 2005, in connection with the investigation of Junior Basic Trained teachers' recruitment scam ordered by the Supreme Court, documents had been recovered indicating possession of disproportionate assets by the former CM and his family. Subsequently, CBI informed the state government for necessary action since it (CBI) did not have jurisdiction to act on this information  suo-moto," the press note said.

The locations selected for searches were intended mainly to collect evidence and hence were restricted to residential premises and some locations like the office of a chartered accountant and the premises of a trading company run by the accused persons. 

"During the searches, the CBI  has found evidence of possession of extensive movable assets and also documents regarding immovable assets. Certain other immovable assets have also been unearthed during the searches. The phenomenal extent of properties seemingly accumulated by the accused persons would require extensive and in-depth investigations by the CBI. An amount of Rs 1.34 crore in five bank accounts of the family in different banks were frozen by the nvestigating agency today. In addition, CBI recovered Rs 13 lakh cash at two locations," the CBI said.

Om Prakash Chautala is currently in the United States undergoing treatment along with his son Ajay Chautala. The family could not be contacted for their version.

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