Delhi HC seeks ED stand on 'conman' Sanjay Prakash Rai's plea

Delhi HC seeks ED stand on 'conman' Sanjay Prakash Rai's plea

New Delhi, Nov 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought stand of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a petition by alleged conman Sanjay Prakash Rai alias Sanjay Sherpuria seeking to quash the prosecution complaint against him in a money laundering case.

Rai was arrested on charges of cheating several people by portraying himself to be close to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), senior bureaucrats and politicians.

Justice Amit Bansal asked the probe agency to file its response to the petition which also assails a trial court order taking cognizance in the matter as well as seeks a stay on the investigation.

The money laundering case stems from an FIR filed by the Lucknow police alleging that Rai 'duped' huge amount of money from general public by portraying himself close to senior politicians and bureaucrats and claiming to be an influencer, a social worker and associated with the PMO.

Advocate Nitesh Rana, lawyer for the petitioner, argued that the instant matter was a case of malicious prosecution as there were no proceeds of crime.

In the petition, the accused also said there was no basis for registration of the ECIR in Delhi when the entire alleged proceeds of crime were stated to be accepted in Uttar Pradesh.

'It is beyond the comprehension in any law as to how the Respondent/ ED has the competent jurisdiction to investigate the offence of Money Laundering which allegedly occurred in UP as the FIR 0211/23 which is Schedule Offence registered in Lucknow, UP. There is no evidence which suggests that any part of the proceed of crime has travelled to Delhi,' the petition said.

'Because by mentioning the name of the Hon’ble Prime Minister's Office, Central Minister or connection with bureaucrats and other big names, the Respondent tried to create the castle in the air and intentionally misled the court and induced to take cognizance of frivolous facts,' it added.

The ED had arrested Rai earlier this year after it conducted searches at 42 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghazipur, Pune and Gandhidham.

In one instance, the agency has alleged, Rai 'duped' businessman Gaurav Dalmia and his family to the tune of Rs 12 crore by instilling in him a fear of arrest in an ongoing investigation conducted by the ED.

An amount of Rs 6 crore out of the total amount was received in the bank account of the Youth Rural Entrepreneur Foundation (YREF) in January, 2023 from Dalmia Family Office Trust, wherein Gaurav Dalmia is a trustee, the ED has said.

Rai, according to the ED, incorporated the YREF under the Companies Act as a not-for-profit company on February 16, 2019 and the registered address of YREF was village Karaila, Post Saheri in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.

However, the actual operational activities of YREF are being done from house No. 1, Delhi Riding Club, Safdarjung Road, New Delhi which is also the residential address of Rai, it said.

Although Rai does not hold any official position in YREF, he controls the day-to-day affairs of the company and is the ultimate beneficiary, the agency has said.

The said payment of Rs 6 crore was received by Rai 'under the guise of donation in YREF from Dalmia Family Office Trust'.

Rai is alleged to have forged documents in respect of payments of Rs 6 crore received from Dalmia Family Office Trust to conceal the true nature of transactions.

The matter would be heard next in February. PTI ADS ADS KVK KVK

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