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Sanjay Singh was involved in money laundering through SPV: ED to Delhi HC

IANS logo Reported By IANS |
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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday claimed before the Delhi High Court that AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was involved in creating a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to launder “proceeds of crime” linked to the alleged liquor scam, a result of changes in the excise policy.

ED’s claims were presented in response to Singh’s bail application in the money laundering case.

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Singh had moved the high court seeking bail on January 4 after Special Judge M.K. Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court on December 22 dismissed his plea.

The agency’s affidavit alleges Singh’s involvement in acquiring, concealing, and using proceeds of crime.

The financial probe agency contends that Singh worked closely with individuals like Dinesh Arora and Amit Arora.

The agency stated that Singh was involved in the formation of a special purpose vehicle (M/s Aralias Hospitality Pvt Ltd) to launder the proceeds of crime that would have been generated by the business resulting from the policy changes as conspired by him and his co-conspirators.

The ED further claimed that Singh received illegal money or kickbacks from the alleged excise policy (2021-22) scam and participated in a conspiracy.

The investigation allegedly found Singh received Rs 2 crore in proceeds of crime.

Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, representing Singh, argued that his client has been in custody for three months without a clear attribution of a role in the predicate offence.

Singh’s arrest, according to Mathur, relied on the statement of the ED’s “star witness”.

The case is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma had earlier issued notice to the probe agency on Singh’s bail plea.

Denying him bail, the judge had said that the evidence demonstrated the accused’s involvement in money laundering and that that there were reasonable grounds to believe in the guilt based on the connection to proceeds of crime from scheduled offences investigated by the CBI.

The court also said that observations on the interpretation of Section 45 and 50 of the PMLA, made during the dismissal of bail applications for various accused, remained unaltered, and that reliance on a Supreme Court order granting bail to another accused in the case didn’t provide contrary observations or establish parity.

It had also dismissed the argument regarding the absence of recovery during proceedings, stating that it is not always necessary.

Addressing the lack of documentary evidence connecting the accused to alleged proceeds of crime, the court rejected the notion, citing the nature of cash transactions.

Dismissing the claim of approver coercion, the judge found no evidence of influence and affirmed the relevance of evidence collected by the ED while noting the accused’s alleged role in influencing the excise policy and attempted creation of a partnership involving a dummy associate to generate proceeds of crime.

Statements of approver Dinesh Arora, accused Amit Arora, and witness Ankit Gupta were cited in relation to this aspect, revealing attempts to incorporate the applicant’s personal assistant into the entity.

Singh’s counsel had earlier argued that the ED did not question Singh before his arrest and also cited contradictions in the statements of accused-turned-approver Dinesh Arora and other witnesses.

The ED had opposed the bail application, citing the ongoing investigation and expressing concerns that Singh’s release could potentially obstruct the investigation, tamper with evidence, and influence witnesses.

Singh’s counsel had also said that since the supplementary charge sheet against Singh has already been filed, there was some kind of finality regarding the collection of evidence which should be the basis for granting him bail.

He noted that Singh was neither an accused, and was never arrested, or charge sheeted in the predicate offence (the alleged corruption in the excise scam) being probed by the CBI, and that he was not even summoned by the CBI in the corruption case. His name did not appear in any of the supplementary charge sheets filed by the ED before his arrest.

The financial probe agency arrested Singh on October 4, 2023 after carrying out searches at his residence in the North Avenue area.



(This report is auto-generated from IANS news service. 'Main Media' holds no responsibility for its content.)

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