HC gives Vadra four weeks to file rejoinder in plea to quash money laundering case

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave businessman Robert Vadra four weeks to file a rejoinder to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) reply to his petition seeking quashing of certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal listed the matter for further hearing on November 18.

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, representing Vadra, the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, had sought some time to file the rejoinder to ED’s reply and said the documents were almost ready.

He also said the ED claimed Vadra suppressed material facts in his petition before the high court. However, there was no suppression of facts on his part, the counsel said.

“They do not give the copy of ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) and then they say I have suppressed facts. They provided me the ECIR copy only after court’s order. I have disclosed all the facts which were in my knowledge. There is no suppression on my part,” Tulsi said.

Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora also sought quashing of the money laundering case.

Vadra is facing allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The case is being probed under the provisions of the PMLA.

Arora was an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP and a co-accused in the case.

Delhi court extends interim protection from arrest to Robert Vadra’s aide till Feb 6

A Delhi court on Saturday extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest granted to Manoj Arora, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Arora was cooperating in the probe.

“He joined the probe yesterday. So far he is cooperating,” Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh, appearing for the ED, said.

ED’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana sought two more weeks for arguments on the application which was allowed by the court.

Rana said it remained to be seen if Arora would cooperate further.

The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property — located at 12, Bryanston Square — worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

In the last hearing, Arora had alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of “political vendetta”.

However, the ED refuted the allegations, asking that “should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?”

The agency had told the court that it lodged the money laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly-enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It said the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation.

“This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property,” the ED had told court.

Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter’s overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds, it had said.

ED seeks open-ended NBW against close aide of Robert Vadra in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a Delhi court Saturday seeking issuance of open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Manoj Arora, allegedly a close aide of Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case.

The agency told the court that Arora failed to appear for questioning despite repeated summonses.

The ED further claimed that Arora is a key person in the case. He is aware of overseas undeclared assets of Vadra and was instrumental in arranging funds for such properties, the agency said.

Vadra is the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

ED seeks custodial interrogation of Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis money laundering case

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday opposed in a Delhi court the anticipatory bail plea of former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case and sought his custodial interrogation.

ED, which filed its response to the anticipatory bail plea of Chidambaram, said that he has remained evasive and was not cooperating in the probe.

The hearing on Chidambaram’s plea will take place before Special Judge O P Saini on Thursday.

The court had on October 8 extended till November 1 the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis case filed by the CBI and the ED.

Chidambaram ahd filed the plea for protection from arrest in the ED case on May 30 this year after which he got relief from the court on various occasions.

The agency on October 25 had filed charge sheet against Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, accusing him of conspiring with foreign investors to clear their venture.

Court takes cognisance of fresh ED charge sheet against Upendra Rai

A Delhi court on Saturday took cognisance of a fresh charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against jailed-journalist Upendra Rai in a money laundering case.

Additional Sessions judge Rakesh Syal, who is likely to pronounce the order on Rai’s bail plea on November 1, said there was enough evidence to proceed on the ED’s supplementary charge sheet accusing the scribe of laundering around Rs 23 crore.

The ED’s charge sheet, filed by special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, has sought his prosecution for money laundering.

During the proceedings, the ED handed over the copy of the charge sheet to Rai, after which the court fixed the next date of hearing on November 1.

In an earlier charge sheet in the case, the ED had alleged that Rai projected over Rs 29 crore worth of properties, which he generated through “blackmail” and “extortion” as a scribe, as untainted.

The Delhi-based journalist was arrested by the agency for alleged money laundering, punishable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It had said that Rai was a journalist, who crafted leverage out of his access to government offices as a mediaperson.

The agency further said Rai used the “ill-gotten” money to acquire various movable and immovable properties in his or in the name of his family members, in his personal and travel expenses, and also used it to repay loans taken from financial organisations to acquire various properties.

Rai was arrested on June 8 by the ED under the PMLA at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions. 

The ED had registered the money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

Guj-based pharma firm’s director Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit arrestedand sent to ED custody

A Director of Gujarat-based pharma firm was arrested  last night in a money laundering case related to an alleged Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud case and  was sent to one day custody of Enforcement Directorate,

As  custodial interrogation was required, Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand sent Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit to custody after special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appeared for the ED.

The ED had sought 14 days custody for the accused.

The magistrate, who was on special duty today, directed the agency to produced the accused before the court concerned tomorrow.

This is the third arrest in the case. The agency had earlier this month arrested a former Director of Andhra Bank, Anup Prakash Garg, and a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in November last year.

While Garg is currently in judicial custody, Dhawan was granted bail in January 4. All three were arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

They were named as accused in the cases by the ED and the CBI.

The ED registered a money laundering case in this instance after taking cognisance of an earlier CBI FIR.

The CBI had booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

It had alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR had also alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail

PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail
PMLA case: Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail

Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi was today granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case.

Special judge Arun Bharadwaj, who had reserved the order on Qureshi’s application on December 4, gave him the relief on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of a like amount.

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier this month opposed the bail plea of Qureshi, saying he could hamper the ongoing investigation, after which the court had reserved its verdict.

ED special counsel N K Matta had alleged that Qureshi, arrested on August 25, should not be granted the relief as the allegations levelled against him were grave and there were chances that he may flee from justice if enlarged on bail.

In his bail application, the accused had told the court that no purpose would be served by keeping him in further custody.

He had said that the probe in the case was over and he was not required further by the ED.

The ED had earlier claimed in the court that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees….”

The agency had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi-based hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1.

According to the agency, Qureshi was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) a he was “not cooperating in the probe”.

( Source – PTI )

Court seeks ED’s response on bizman’s plea

Court seeks ED's response on bizman's plea
Court seeks ED’s response on bizman’s plea

A Delhi court today sought a response from Enforcement Directorate on an application filed by Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan seeking his production before it through video conferencing in a Rs 5,000-crore money laundering case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma directed the agency to file its reply by December 4 when it will hear the matter.

The accused, currently in the judicial custody, has cited security reasons in his application seeking video conferencing facility.

Dhawan, who was arrested on November 1, was sent to custody on November 15 by the court after special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana said he was not needed for further custodial interrogation.

The ED had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of Gujarat-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) in the purchase of several properties and helped in misuse and diversion of the credit facilities of several bank totalling Rs 5,000 crore.

“Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused from SBL group.

Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” according to the agency.

The lower court had on November 14 issued non-bailable warrants against two other persons — SBL directors Nitin and Chetan Sandesara. The agency told the court that Chetan may have left the country.

Dhawan was arrested in an alleged bank fraud case involving SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The firm and Dhawan were also being probed by the ED for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials in 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 some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.

It had alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR had also 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 )

SC rejects bail plea of lawyer in money laundering case

The Supreme Court today rejected the bail plea of lawyer Rohit Tandon, who was arrested in connection with an alleged money laundering case post demonetisation.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud dismissed the bail plea of Tandon, who was arrested after a raid on his law firm in connection with a black money probe that had led to the alleged seizure of Rs 13.6 crore.

He was allegedly involved in illegal conversion of nearly Rs 60 crore demonetised currency.

Earlier during the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi seeking bail for Tandon, had said that the concept of bail is rule and jail is exception has been turned upside down in this case.

Rohatgi had argued that no case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was made out against Tandon.

He said Tandon was allegedly found with unaccounted cash but that is not an offence under PMLA as the Act deals with proceeds of crime.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta had vehemently opposed the bail plea and submitted that Tandon was converting the illegal cash and causing harm to the government of India which had cracked down on black money.

Tandon has sought regular bail on the ground that he needs to look after his ailing mother.

The apex court had on September 4 refused to extend the three-week interim bail granted by the Delhi High Court to the lawyer.

He was granted interim bail on August 10 by the High Court from where he had withdrawn his plea for regular bail.

Tandon had earlier moved a fresh bail application before the High Court which on May 5 had rejected his bail plea.

A trial court had earlier denied bail to Tandon on the ground that he was alleged to have been involved in a “white collar crime” with other accused in a “well-planned” manner.

The Enforcement Directorate had arrested him after a raid on his law firm in connection with a black money probe that had led to the alleged seizure of Rs 13.6 crore.

Besides him, some other accused were also arrested in connection with a separate Prevention of Money Laundering Act case.

SC rejects bail plea of lawyer in money laundering case( Source – PTI )

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case
Bizman sent to 14-day judicial custody in bank fraud case

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 )