The pleas of businessman Abhishek Vermaand his wife for their release from judicial custody in the Enforcement Directorate’s money launderingcase was dismissed today by a Delhi court.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gautam Manan also extended the judicial custody of Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Maria Neascu till October 1 after the couple was produced before him following the issuance of production warrants against them on September 10.
“I am rejecting your applications. The judicial custody is extended till October 1,” the judge said.
The court on September 10 had issued production warrants for today against both the accused after they failed to appear before it as they were then in the CBI’s custody in connection with a case lodged under the Official Secrets Act.
The couple had sought their release from judicial custody in the money laundering case saying the “continuity of their custody has been broken” by the ED as their judicial custody was “not extended” on September 10.
The couple, in their applications, had said they are “not in custody” in this case and granting their fresh custody will “tantamount to fresh arrest” and will lead to “severe agony and injustice” to them.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against the couple for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms-dealing firm to keep it out of the Indian government’s blacklist.
Verma and his wife, in their separate pleas, had said although they were scheduled to be produced before the court on September 10, the ED “did not take any step” to ensure their presence for extension of judicial custody
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was on Thursday allowed by a Delhi court to take into their custody businessman Abhishek Verma and his wife for four days to quiz them for their alleged role in a money laundering case.
Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Maria Neascu, arrested by the ED yesterday in connection with the case, were produced before the court which remanded them to its custody till August 27 after the agency said that the case is having “wide international ramifications” and the probe is going on.
The ED told the court that it was the only competent authority to investigate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 and that the duo’s custodial interrogation was necessary to know the magnitude of the offence committed by them.
“…thus keeping in view all the allegations on accused persons, the accused persons are remanded to the custody of the department for the period of four days,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Gautam Manan said.
During the arguments, ED’s prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta sought seven days custody of both the accused saying that the probe in the case is in progress.
“From the investigations conducted so far, there has emerged a prima facie case of violation of provisions of the PMLA of a very large magnitude having wide international ramifications involving a number of persons/entities including both the accused/suspects. These investigations are still in progress,” the ED, in its remand application, said.
ED said Verma and his wife were involved in the offences of PMLA of very high magnitude “running into crores of rupees”.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against the couple for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss defence firm to keep it out of the Indian government’s blacklist.