The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a bail plea of former Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra’s wife Preeti Chandra in a money laundering case.
The ED, in this case, had arrested the founder of Unitech Group Ramesh Chandra, Preeti Chandra (Sanjay Chandra’s wife) and Rajesh Malik of Carnoustie Group last year.
The Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh on Wednesday sought a response on a petition of Preeti Chandra seeking regular bail in the case.
Advocate Adit Pujari, who appeared for Preeti Chandra submitted that: she has been in judicial custody for a long time. She is a fashion designer and has nothing to do with the proceeds of crime, as alleged.
The court while listing the matter for December 16, 2022, also allowed Preeti Chandra’s counsel to file additional documents before the court.
According to the ED, Unitech Ltd. — where the accused Ramesh Chandra is the Chairman, and the co-accused Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra are the Directors — collected funds from home buyers, for housing projects. This amount runs into several thousands of crores, which was not used for the purpose it was collected for. The accused persons diverted this amount into several other accounts. In this manner, the home buyers were cheated and the accused were involved in money laundering.
According to the ED, accused Preeti Chandra received proceeds of crime Rs 107.40 Crores in her company Prakausli Investments Pvt Ltd and did not disclose the ultimate usage of the said proceeds of crime.
Recently the trial court denied her bail and said, there are allegations against the accused about receiving unaccounted money in Prakausli’s accounts. The amount of transactions between different entities in the present case are voluminous and complex. It is not desirable to discuss in detail the said transactions at the stage of consideration on bail, the court said.
The court further noted that about three more flats of the accused were found during the further interrogation on the bail applicant while she was in judicial custody. The flats have been attached.
The entire transaction involves a large number of home buyers (about 1,000 families). In view of the enormity of the transactions and the seriousness of the allegations, the court does not find any ground for the grant of bail to the applicant / accused Preeti Chandra. Accordingly, the present bail application of the applicant / accused Preeti Chandra is dismissed, the trial court said in an order.
Earlier, the trial court while taking cognizance of the chargesheet, stated that: considering the material available on record, I take cognizance for the commission of the offence punishable u/s 3/ 4 of PMLA.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached assets worth several crores belonging to two benami entities of erstwhile Unitech Group promoters Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra.
The attached properties included one multiplex in Gurugram, six commercial properties in Gurugram and Lucknow and 24 bank accounts and Fixed Deposit Receipts, the agency said.
These assets are in the name of Enova Facility Management Services Pvt Ltd and FNM Property Services Pvt Ltd which are the benami entities of Chandras, said the ED
The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of various FIRs filed by homebuyers against Unitech Group and its promoters by Delhi Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“Total Proceeds of Crime detected by the ED, in this case, is Rs 7,638.43 crore,” ED had said.
The investigation by the ED revealed that these two benami entities were managed by Chandras through their close confidants and the assets attached were acquired and created from the proceeds of crime diverted from Unitech Group. (ANI)