Panchkula: The enforcement directorate (ED) on Monday attached a controversial plot of land in Panchkula, allotted to the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) by the Haryana government in 2005. 

This move comes only days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against the then Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra, who also the AJL’s managing director. 

The AJL is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders, including members of the Gandhi family. The group runs the National Herald newspaper.

"The investigation by the ED under the PMLA Act, 2002 has revealed that the plot number C-17, sector 6, Panchkula was allotted to the AJL in the year 1982 as per the request of the company to start Nav Jivan newspaper. As the AJL did not comply with the terms and conditions of the allotment, the estate officer, HUDA, Panchkula vide order, dated 30.10.1992, ordered to resume the said plot on the ground that the allottee i.e. AJL violated the requisite terms and conditions of the allotment letter by not starting the construction and completing the same within the stipulated period, " the ED said in a press statement. 

The agency also said, “A provisional attachment order was issued on December 1, the day the CBI filed a charge sheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others for allegedly using fraudulent means to allot land to AJL.”

The statement read, "Since the value of the plot fraudulently allowed to AJL has represented proceeds of crime, the ED has attached the plot under PMLA Act." 

The plot has been attached under section 5 of PMLA (Attachment of property involved in money-laundering) Act and further investigation is in the process, officials said. 

With inputs from PTI