NEW DELHI:After the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now registered a criminal complaint in the Rajasthan ambulance scam case and booked former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC leader Sachin Pilot and sons of two former Union ministers on money laundering charges.
The agency has taken cognisance of the CBI FIR in this regard to register its case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and has named Karthi Chidmabaram and Ravi Krishna, sons of senior Congress leaders and former Union ministers P Chidambaram and Vayalar Ravi respectively. The case dates back to July last year after BJP government came in power in the state.
Jaipur police had registered a criminal case on the complaint of city Mayor Pankaj Joshi. The CBI has alleged irregularities in the award of tender of ambulance services in favour of a firm Ziqitza Health Care by deliberately inserting technical specifications and irregularities in implementation of the project which included excess bills claimed by the firm and the payment allegedly directed to the accused. The ED, taking cognizance of these facts, suspects that the kickbacks paid in this scam were laundered by some people and used to acquire tainted assets.
“The ED probe will identify the beneficiaries of tainted assets,” they said, adding summonses are being issued to the accused.
The FIR registered by the state government had named Gehlot and “alleged directors” of the company Ziqitza Health Care, Pilot, Karthi, Krishna along with its director Sweta Mangal, the then Health Minister of the state Duru Mirza and the Director National Rural Health Mission.
Pilot, the state PCC President, has earlier called the CBI action a “meek, vendetta-driven malicious prosecution” while Gehlot too termed it a politically motivated action.
Pilot had said he had resigned from the company in late 2002 or early 2003 (before he became MP) when it decided to become a “for profit” company from the “non-profit” venture as he was associated with it only for social cause.
Karthi had said he was never involved in the administration of the company.