Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan was today sent to 14-day judicial custody in a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma passed the order while rejecting the Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking his custody for five more days to interrogate him.
During the arguments, advocate for ED Nitesh Rana told the court that the agency had recently received certain documents from banks and the accused was required to be confronted with them.
The accused, however, opposed the application saying the ED had already got enough time to interrogate him.
The agency had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of a private firm, Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL), for purchase of several properties and helped in misusing and diverting the credit facilities of several bank loans totalling Rs 5,000 crore.
“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused (Dhawan) from SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” he said.
ED informed the court that the proceedings to issue non- bailable warrants against two other co-accused persons, SBL directors Nitin and Chetan Sandesara, was in the process.
It also told the court that Chetan was likely to have left the country.
Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving the Gujarat-based pharma firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Dhawan was on the radar of the agency for allegedly aiding bank loan frauds related to Sterling Biotech, the Vadodara-based company, and few other similar alleged illegal transactions, the ED claimed.
The firm and Dhawan are also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.
The CBI had recently booked Sterling Biotech, its Directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, former Director Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.
The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets.
The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.
The ED had taken a cognisance of this FIR to file a money laundering case against them.
( Source – PTI )