The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on November 24 fixed December 20 for hearing arguments on cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate’s supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) in a money laundering case related to controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others.
The Enforcement Directorate on November 24 apprised the court that it had recently summoned Sanjay Bhandhari’s relatives, Sumit Chaddha and Pooja Chaddha, but they had refused to appear.
“We are taking further steps in this regard,” submitted ED’s lawyer Advocate Naveen Kumar Matta.
The Special Judge Neelofer Abida Parveen, after noting down the submissions, said he was taking the chargesheet on record and tagging the supplementary chargesheet with the main case, which is scheduled to come up for a hearing on December 20.
Meanwhile, the court clarified that it would hear the submissions on the supplementary chargesheet on cognizance point with the main case and summons to be issued to fresh accused after the cognizance to be taken in the matter.
According to the sources, the chargesheet (Prosecution Complaint) has named two more accused in the chargesheet. Sanjay Bhandari is allegedly a close associate of Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra. The Court of Special Judge Neelofer Abida Parveen fixed November 24 for arguments on cognizance points in the matter. The chargesheet has been filed by the ED’s Special Public Prosecutor, Naveen Kumar Matta, and Advocate Mohd Faizan.
ED has been probing several allegations against businessman Sanjay Bhandari and his alleged links with Robert Vadra.
It has been alleged that during the UPA era, Sanjay Bhandari had taken commission and purchased properties in London whose beneficial owner was Robert Vadra. Robert Vadra denied these charges.
On November 10 last year, Rouse Avenue Court allowed Robert Vadra to travel abroad and visit Austria and Switzerland for two weeks from November 12 and noted that he had travelled abroad on 16 previous occasions, there has not been even a single instance relied of the applicant having tampered with the evidence, or having interfered with the pending aspects of the investigation.
Robert Vadra’s lawyer earlier told the court that the investigation in the said ECIR has been going on for around six years and is still pending, yet no proceedings before the court can be said to be pending against the applicant/Vadra nor anything incriminating has been found against the applicant till date, the applicant is, thus, not even an accused as of today.
ED, while opposing Robert Vadra’s plea, submitted that in view of the influence, political clout and connections of the applicant, it is highly likely that the Applicant, if allowed to travel to Austria and Switzerland the same may frustrate the proceedings as one LR issued to the appropriate authority at Switzerland in another criminal proceedings against co-accused Sanjay Bhandari is pending and the applicant may interfere with the same.
The co-accused Sanjay Bhandari has evaded the process of law in spite of there being an LOC against him and thereafter a Red Corner Notice (RCN) was issued against him.
Now, the extradition process of the main accused, Sanjay Bhandari from the United Kingdom, is at a crucial stage, and the Westminster Court, UK, has ordered his extradition vide order of July 2022. Subsequently, the Secretary of State also ordered his extradition vide order dated January 12, 2022. As such, the possibility of the applicant evading the process of law cannot be ruled out, stated ED in court.
In April this year, the Enforcement Directorate attached a property in Delhi worth Rs 4.50 crore belonging to Sharan Svadha LLP in connection with a case lodged against Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Switzerland, Sanjay Bhandari and others, officials said.
(with inputs from ANI)