The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday reserved its judgment on a petition seeking quashing of the decision taken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 1 to transfer probe of Chandigarh’s multi-crore money-laundering case from its Chandigarh branch to New Delhi.
A division bench comprising Justices Rajesh Bindal and Darshan Singh reserved the judgment on a petition moved by Chandigarh resident Amrik Singh. The petitioner has submitted that there are serious allegations in the money-laundering case against Chandigarh advocate Mukesh Mittal, his brother and Assistant Solicitor General of India Chetan Mittal, Patna High Court judge Hemant Gupta (earlier with Punjab and Haryana High Court), their family members and associates; and former Chandigarh youth Congress leader Vijay Pal Singh Dimpy. The petitioner claims to be an aggrieved person after being allegedly cheated by Mukesh Mittal and his associates of crores in a land case.
It was on March 26, 2013, that ED had registered ECIR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. ED had later conducted searches on six premises, including that of Mukesh Mittal and his associates, on January 13 last year, which resulted in seizure of “highly incriminating documents” relating to several shell companies, including 214 blank signed cheques, records of several shell companies with no business activities and heavy financial transactions.
Amrik Singh has submitted a copy of the newspaper report with a photo in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley can be seen sitting on June 29 in Chandigarh with people including Chetan Mittal, “an old associate in the legal profession and very well known to him”. Also alleging political nexus, the petitioner has submitted that it is not a matter of co-incidence that Jaitley reached back Delhi on June 30 and the order of the transfer of money laundering case to Delhi was passed on the very next day on July 1.
It has been alleged that there is “a nexus of politicians with the front men and masterminds who are lawyers specialising in property usurping with the help of judiciary and officers of the UT Government”. Also, the ED in connivance with the accused has transferred the investigation to Delhi so that the complainants and witnesses can be given physical and financial hardship so that they lose interest or become hostile, alleges the petitioner.
The petitioner has now requested the court to permit ED’s Assistant Legal Adviser Suresh Kumar Batra and Assistant Director Gopesh Byadwal to continue with the investigation as both the persons have been handling the case since its inception.
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