Headline: Hooda faces laundering charge

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Photo caption: Bhupinder Hooda

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has booked former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, officials of the Associated Journal Limited (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper, and others on charges of alleged money laundering.

Taking cognisance of the Haryana State Vigilance Bureau FIR lodged in December last year, the probe agency registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials said.

The VB had registered a case of cheating and corruption against Hooda and four HUDA officials for allegedly re-alloting a plot to AJL in Sector 6 of Panchkula in 2005. Sources said summons would soon be issued. Hooda termed the action “political vendetta” and claimed there was no wrongdoing.

The VB had filed a case for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating, criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Hooda, the then Haryana Urban Development Authority chairman as an ex-officio post held by him as CM, and four top officials of HUDA on May 5 this year.

The plot was allotted to AJL in 1982. After the expiry of the lease in 1996, the then HVP government took back its possession. It was re-allotted after Hooda came to power.