In an interim relief to former Union Minister and TDP MP Y S Chowdary, the Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to take coercive steps against him in a case related to alleged financial irregularities. Justice Najmi Waziri asked Chowdary to appear before the ED on Monday and cooperate in the ongoing investigation against him.
The court asked the ED to file a response on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on December 18. The court was hearing Chowdary's plea seeking quashing of summons issued against him by the ED. The ED has asked Chowdary to appear in a case pertaining to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The TDP MP is accused of bank fraud. Chowdary, a member of the Rajya Sabha, is a close aide of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Last week, a day after the ED conducted raids on his firms and issued summons, Chowdary denied the allegations of financial irregularities. He told reporters in Hyderabad that none of the companies established by him was involved in any irregularities and termed the allegations as a conspiracy by the Centre to politically harm him.
"Since I am politically active, I am being targeted," said the TDP Rajya Sabha member.
According to ED, searches revealed that banks have been defrauded by companies owned by Chowdary to the tune of over Rs 5,700 crore. The ED seized six luxury cars including a Ferrari, Range Rover, and Benz from Chowdary's residence. These vehicles, registered in the name of dummy companies, have been seized under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the ED said.
Chowdary, who owns Sujana Group of companies, said the cars seized by ED belonged to the family. Claiming that he has nothing to do with dummy companies, the MP said his firms were functioning with transparency.
"Is it a crime to obtain bank loans," he asked and denied allegations of defrauding the banks.
"Documents recovered indicate that they are controlling over 120 companies and most of them are non-operating or companies on paper only without any genuine business activities," the ED had said in a statement on Saturday.
Chowdary was Minister of Science and Technology in the Modi cabinet till March when the TDP pulled out of the NDA government.