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Delhi court extends ED remand of Ambience Mall owner till August 7

ANI | Updated: Aug 05, 2021 22:10 IST

New Delhi [India], August 5 (ANI): A Delhi court on Thursday extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand of businessman Raj Singh Gehlot, the owner of Ambience Mall till August 7 in a money laundering case related to Rs 800 crore bank loan fraud.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana on Thursday extended Gehlot's remand for further two days.
"Considering the totality of circumstances, accused Raj Singh Gehlot is further remanded to ED custody till August 7, 2021. Medical examination of the accused has been conducted before and after the ED remand. IO is also directed to ensure adequate medical care and attention to the accused," the Court said.
"Investigation of an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA) in itself is an intricate exercise of skills and patience. The very nature of the offence requires sustained interrogation and an intensive analysis of the copious material collected during the course of the investigation. Considering its intricate nature, Investigation under PMLA, for obvious reasons, is a time-consuming process," the Court noted.
ASJ Rana said, "I have perused the material produced before me by the investigation officer and I am satisfied that ED has made out a case for further extension of ED remand. However, ED is not divested of its onerous responsibility to expeditiously conclude the investigation."
While seeking further remand of Raj Singh Gehlot, ED through Advocates Atul Sharma and Naveen Kumar Matta submitted that confrontation of accused with voluminous records and statements is a time-consuming process which is still under progress for which his custodial interrogation is required.
ED also submitted that his 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 for determining the role of various other persons and aides who have assisted in the sanction and diversion of loan funds and also to unearth the entire modus operandi involved in the present case.
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appearing for Gehlot strongly opposed the further remand application of ED and submitted that the reasons cited by the Directorate of Enforcement are not tenable. The grounds are very basic in nature and in fact repetition of the grounds cited by the ED earlier in their ED remand application dated July 29, 2021, he said.
Advocate Pahwa also submitted that unless there are very strong and exceptional circumstances for the extension of ED remand, the ED remand cannot be extended. It is further submitted that extension of ED remand any further in the instant matter shall be violative of Article 20 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The ED arrested Gehlot last month in an alleged bank loan fraud case worth more than Rs 800 crore. He was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) for committing bank fraud against the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Consortium.
Last year, the ED had initiated an investigation under PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by State ACB, Jammu against Aman Hospitality Pvt Ltd (AHPL) and its Directors for money laundering in the construction and development of the 5-star 'Leela Ambience Convention Hotel' situated near the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi, the investigation agency said.
It stated that investigation under PMLA revealed that a huge part of a loan amount of more than Rs 800 crore, which was sanctioned by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was siphoned off by AHPL and Raj Singh Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies controlled by them. (ANI)