New Delhi [India], August 5 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Amarendra Dhari Singh, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under the charges of money laundering in connection with an alleged fertiliser subsidy scam.
While granting bail to Amarendra Dhari Singh, the bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said that the petitioner is in judicial custody since June 2, and therefore, in view of the entire facts and circumstances, "I am of the considered opinion, that the petitioner is entitled to be released on bail on merits as well as on medical grounds."
The court directed Singh to furnish a personal bond in the sum of Rs 10,00,000 with one surety of the like amount and asked him not to leave the country without the permission of the Special Court, and his passport, if already not deposited, shall be deposited with the special court.
Earlier, the trial court had dismissed his bail plea and said, "possibility of tampering with the witnesses, the accused being an influential person and the investigation being at an initial stage."
The trial court also noted, "investigation is at the stage of collection of evidence regarding identification of proceeds of crime and finding of trail of remaining ill-gotten money, which in the case of money laundering is generally routed through a complex web of companies..."
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, Advocate Zoyeb Hossain, Special Counsel Advocate Nitesh Rana, Special Public Prosecutor appeared in the matter for Enforcement Directorate.
While Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, Senior Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal and Advocate Madhav Khurana, appeared for Amarendra Dhari Singh in the matter.
Lawyers appeared for ED had opposed the bail plea and submitted that the accused in his statement under Section 50 of PMLA has not been able to give the source of such huge funds received by him in cash or in the entities owned by him.
"Therefore, there is prima facie material to hold that accused is involved in the offence of money laundering," they said.
"The accused is also not entitled to bail as per provision to Section 45 of the PMLA on the ground of he being a sick and infirm person as there is nothing on record to suggest that accused is sick to that extent that in case he remains incarcerated, then his health condition will further deteriorate," ED lawyers submitted.
It was submitted by defence lawyers submitted that since the accused is a sick person undergoing treatment for lymphatic cancer since 2002 and having regard to his heart ailment, the accused does not deserve to be remain incarcerated as the same will have an adverse impact on his health.
Accordingly, it was prayed that as per provision to Section 45 of PMLA, a case for grant of bail is made out on the ground of the accused being sick and infirm.
It was further submitted that there is no chance of the accused fleeing from this country if released on bail as he has got "deep roots in society" as he is a sitting Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament.
According to the probe agency, Amarendra Dhari Singh is stated to be the senior vice president of a firm involved in the case, identified as Jyoti Trading Corporation.
"He is involved in the export and import of fertilizers since the 90s. Singh imports fertilizers for private companies and exporting them to the Middle East and other countries," ED lawyers submitted.
"Group companies of co-accused Rajeev Saxena, who is an accused in Augusta Westland Case also, were used for receipt of commission from supplier of fertilizers and other products to IFFCO and Indian Potash Limited (IPL)," they said.
"During the commission of the crime, sham consultancy agreements were made as also fake invoices for consultancy services, without providing any such services and thus commission was received from group companies of Rajeev Saxena without any genuine transaction and that money was actually illegal commission generated out of import of fertilizers and raw material," said ED.
ED further added that the accused acted as an intermediary along with other accused of channelising the ill-gotten money through different firms and companies.
"In this manner, Rs 685 crores approximately were received in the bank accounts of the group companies and individual account of Rajeev Saxena and other accused including the present accused AD Singh," the agency added. (ANI)