MUMBAI: A Delhi court took cognisance of a supplementary charge sheet in connection with the over Rs. 5,000 crore-bank loan fraud case involving Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech, against a man arrested for allegedly sending Rs. 25 lakh cash to a senior Congress leader’s residence.
The court, which had earlier issued open-ended non-bailable warrants against pharma firm’s directors, including Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, said prima facie there were enough evidence against the accused — Ranjit Malik alias Johny — to proceed against him.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora issued production warrant for November 1 against Malik, who was arrested by the agency for allegedly sending Rs. 25 lakh through one Rakesh Chandra to the politician’s residence in the national capital.
An “open-ended NBW” does not carry a time limit for execution unlike non-bailable warrants (NBW).
The Enforcement Directorate’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, who filed the charge sheet on September 29 under the sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), told the court on Wednesday that report was filed along with all the required documents and explained the chain of proceeds of crime.
He said the probe will still continue in the matter and supplementary charge sheet is likely to be filed.
The charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, also named Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan, arrested earlier in the case.
Malik was allegedly a middleman for Dhawan. While Malik is currently in judicial custody, Dhawan is out on bail.
Besides Sandesra brother, the court had also issued NBW against Chetan’s wife Dipti Sandesara, also a director in the firm, and her brother Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel.
The open-ended NBWs were issued after ED told the court that the four accused were likely to have left the country.
In its charge sheet, the ED had told the court that the directors of the firm, along with others, had taken loans of over Rs. 5,000 crores from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which turned into a non-performing asset (NPA) or a bad loan.
The agency also arrested a former director of Andhra Bank, Anup Prakash Garg, in February.
They were named as accused in the case by the ED and the CBI. The ED registered a money laundering case in this instance after taking cognisance of an FIR filed earlier by the CBI.
The CBI had booked Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech, its directors Nitin, Chetan, Dipti, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.
According to the FIR, the total pending dues of the group of companies were Rs. 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016