Chandigarh, Jun 24 (PTI) Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Thursday accused the Enforcement Directorate of making 'frivolous' allegations against him in a money-laundering case and said this aimed at his 'character assassination'.
In March this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had raided the premises of Khaira and his family members in Delhi in the money-laundering case linked to the 2015 Fazilka narcotics trafficking case and a fake passport racket.
The ED has alleged that Khaira is an 'associate' of drug case convicts and fake passport racketeers.
'Khaira was actively aiding and supporting the gang of international smugglers and enjoying the proceeds of crime,' the agency has alleged.
The remarks by the Bholath MLA came in the wake of the ED summoning three top fashion designers of the country--Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra-–from whom Khaira had purchased clothes for the wedding of his daughter.
'I completely reject, trash and debunk all charges of the Enforcement Directorate of having made huge payments to some fashion designers,' said Khaira in a statement here, accusing the agency of making 'frivolous' allegations.
These payments, which are very nominal, were made in 2015–16 at the time of the wedding of his daughter, he said.
It is a normal practice in every family, particularly Punjab, to give their best to their children, particularly daughters, at the time of their wedding, said Khaira.
Khaira said he had purchased three wedding dresses for his daughter and his family and these ranged from Rs 7 to 8 lakh in total.
The source of money paid to the fashion designers was his overdraft account in a bank at Jalandhar, he said.
It is common knowledge that people buy very expensive wedding dresses, sometimes to the tune of Rs 25 to 30 lakh or even more, while he and his family purchased only routine necessary wedding dresses, the MLA said.
Khaira said he was saddened to note that attempts are being made by the ED to “malign” him and aimed at his “character assassination” by repeating the same old charges of fake passports and the NDPS case related to Fazilka.
Khaira reiterated that he was never named in the FIR, neither his name appeared in the challan report nor any recovery was made from him in the case.
Khaira, along with two other rebel Aam Aadmi Party legislators Jagdev Singh Kamalu and Pirmal Singh, had joined the Congress early this month.
He had joined AAP in December 2015 and was elected from Bholath in 2017. He resigned from the primary membership of the party in January 2019 and had floated his own outfit, the Punjab Ekta Party.
Khaira had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK