Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana granted ED Gehlot's custody, observing that "voluminous data is still required to be analysed and numerous statements of witnesses recorded under section 50 of PMLA are required to be confronted with the accused".
A Delhi court has sent Ambience Mall owner Raj Singh Gehlot to Enforcement Directorate custody for two days in a bank fraud case, observing that investigating money laundering is “an intricate exercise of skills and patience”.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana granted ED Gehlot’s custody, observing that “voluminous data is still required to be analysed and numerous statements of witnesses recorded under section 50 of PMLA are required to be confronted with the accused”.
“Investigation of an offence under PMLA in itself is an intricate exercise of skills and patience. The very nature of offence requires sustained interrogation and an intensive analysis of the copious material collected during the course of investigation. Considering its intricate nature, investigation under PMLA ,for obvious reasons, is a time-consuming process. I am of the considered opinion that the investigating agency in a PMLA case deserves a little more time in comparison to the time required in investigating an ordinary crime,” the court said.
Special Public Prosecutors Atul Sharma and NK Matta, who appeared on behalf of the ED, moved an application seeking seven days custody of the accused, stating that he “was not able to provide any satisfactory explanation for the diversion of funds to different entities”.
The ED told the court that “custodial interrogation is required to unearth the end use of some portion of loan funds in order to ascertain the exact quantum of proceeds of crime…”
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa and Advocate Tanvir Ahmad Mir appeared on behalf of the accused. Pahwa told the court that the reasons cited by the ED for custodial interrogation are not tenable. He submitted that the grounds are very basic in nature. “Unless there are very strong and exceptional circumstances for extension of ED remand, the ED remand cannot be extended,” Pahwa told the court.
The case came to light on the basis of an FIR registered by the Jammu Anti-Corruption Bureau against a private company AHPL and its directors for allegedly laundering money during the construction and development of the 5-star Leela Ambience Convention Hotel near the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi.
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