The Madras High Court today stayed a money laundering case lodged by Enforcement Directorate against folk artiste Mohanambal and others following recovery of some money and valuables from her house in 2014. Justice M S Ramesh gave the interim relief to the folk dancer from Vellore district on her plea for quashing of the case, while also seeking the ED’s reply to her petition by July 28.
The state police had seized nearly Rs 4 crore cash and 73 sovereigns of gold from Mohanambal’s residence in a raid in 2014. Her counsel submitted that the ED had lodged the case on the basis of the FIR filed by the police against Mohanambal.
He also argued that normally in such cases after the chargesheet is filed in the concerned court, only the Enforcement Directorate will register a case under Prevention of Money laundering Act. But, the case on hand is only at the stage of FIR and has not reached the stage where the chargesheet is filed, he contended.
The counsel prayed the court to quash the case registered by ED on the basis of the FIR filed by the police. To this, the ED’s counsel argued that an investigation by the agency is essential to ascertain how gold and money worth crores were found in the petitioner’s house.
After hearing the arguments on both sides, the judge stayed the money laundering case registered by ED against Mohanambal and others.
In June 2014, Mohanambal and her sister Nirmala had surrendered before a court in Vellore in this connection. It was alleged that the dancer with the help of her son was also involved in the smuggling of red sanders.