The Enforcement Directorate (ED), the financial investigation agency of the government, has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) to attach Associated Journals Limited's (AJL's) assets worth Rs 16.38 crore.
The assets to be attached include part of a nine-storey building with 2 basements in Mumbai. The attachment order was issued against AJL and its Chairman and Managing Director Moti Lal Vora.
Investigation by the ED has revealed that Moti Lal Vora and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda got the plot of land at C-17 Sector 6, Panchkula illegally allotted to AJL in 2005.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda further allegedly favoured AJL by granting them three undue extensions for construction of plot from 01 May 2008 to 10 May 2012 until the AJL completed the construction in the year 2014.
The investigation by ED revealed that the illegally acquired Panchkula plot was then mortgaged to avail loan from Syndicate Bank's IP Estate Branch, on Bahadursha Zafar Marg, New Delhi for construction of the Mumbai building at Bandra.
A part of the same building has been attached by the ED.
AJL has been under the scanner of investigating agencies for alleged fraudulent transfer of its shares to Young India, a private limited company in which both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are directors.