Alleged conman Sanjay Prakash Rai a.k.a Sherpuria had earlier urged the court to prosecute businessman Dalmia and his wife Sharmila in a money laundering case.
Rai’s counsel, advocate Nitesh Rana argued there was confusion within the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and questioned the existence of two separate cases for the same proceeds of crime.
The court has sought ED’s reply by December 8.
Sherpuria had made the allegation against Dalmia and his wife while the court was hearing his bail application in the case. On September 15, the court had sought a response from the ED on Sherpuria’s bail application.
Rana had told the court that his client cannot be prosecuted alone.
“If Sanjay Rai Sherpuria has committed the offence of money laundering then Gaurav Dalmia, Sharmila Dalmiya and sons of Dalmia group have also committed it. Sherpuria alone can’t be prosecuted. Prosecute Dalmia family also,” he said.
Earlier, before the Additional Sessions Judge Sachin Gupta, who had issued notice to the ED, Rana had argued that the entire case was a “figment of imagination” of the central probe agency, and that there was no evidence against him.
On August 2, the ED had filed a charge sheet against the accused; hence, Rana had also argued that Rai was no longer required for the investigation. The central agency had earlier sought the accused’s remand on the grounds of further probe regarding money received from Dalmia Family Office Trust as donation and money generated from the sale of property in Gujarat.
Appearing for ED, special public prosecutor N.K. Matta had submitted that Sherpuria’s custody is sought in order to record statements of five more persons and to verify details of property sold in Gujarat. It has been alleged that Sherpuria “duped” Dalmia and his family to the tune of Rs 12 crore by instilling in him a fear of arrest in an ongoing investigation by the ED.
Rai is alleged to have forged documents in respect of the payment to conceal the true nature of transactions. The probe agency had said that it would also examine and verify the transactions of the Chandni Chowk jeweller, who is alleged to have helped in the layering of cash transactions. It was claimed before the court that the probe showed Rs 10 crore in cash had been laundered, which was initially pegged at Rs 6 crore.
An amount of Rs 6 crore from the total sum was received in the bank account of the Youth Rural Entrepreneur Foundation (YREF), of which Sherpuria was a signatory, in January, 2023 from Dalmia Family Office Trust wherein Gaurav Dalmia is a trustee, the ED has alleged.
Sherpuria was first arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on April 26 over allegations of collecting crores of rupees by faking access to the Prime Minister’s Office and later by the central agency after interrogation in Lucknow jail. The ED had arrested Rai a few months ago after it conducted searches at 42 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghazipur, Pune and Gandhidham.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S