New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated an investigation under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s son Abir and Nourish Organic Foods Private Limited, a company which he is a director in, for alleged violation of foreign exchange laws. According to reports, under the ED scanner is Rs 7.25 crore, raised by the company in March 2019 in a deal with Saama Capital, a Mauritius-based India-focused investor.
The development comes at a time it has emerged that the government has asked 11 PSUs to probe whether Ashok Lavasa exerted any ‘undue influence’ during his stint as special secretary in the Power Ministry from 2009-2013.
Reports state that the ED summoned Abir Lavasa last week to appear before the Investigation Officer (IO) in the case, which he did on Friday after which he was given a week to produce papers related to the aforementioned deal. The agency has also sent a summons to the director of Samaa Capital.
The ED action comes just months after the Income Tax (I-T) department had studied the books of account of Nourish Organic Foods Private Limited and found that Abir Lavasa held 1o0 accounts in it. Further, it was also found the company was found that the company made huge losses and yet received a heavy premium.
Abir Lavasa is already among three members of the Election Commissioner’s family to be under the scanner of the I-T department for alleged tax evasion and non-disclosure of disproportionate assets. The other two members are Ashok Lavasa’s wife Novel and his sister Shakuntala.
Ashok Lavasa came to public eye after he opposed, on five occasions, to clean chits given by the Election Commission of India (ECI), to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.