New Delhi, Nov 16 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was on Thursday asked by the Delhi High Court for its stand on a petition by conman Sanjay Prakash Rai a.k.a Sherpuria, accused in a money laundering case, seeking to quash the prosecution complaint against him.
Before the bench of Justice Amit Bansal, Sherpuria's counsel, Advocate Nitesh Rana argued that the instant matter was a case of malicious prosecution as there were no proceeds of crime.
Sherpuria's petition also criticises a trial court order taking cognisance in the matter while it seeks a stay on the investigation.
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 proceeds of crime has travelled to Delhi," the petition said.
"Because by mentioning the name of the 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.
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 him a few months ago after it conducted searches at 42 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghazipur, Pune, and Gandhidham. Sherpuria 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.
In October, Sherpuria had urged a Delhi court to prosecute businessman Gaurav Dalmia and his wife Sharmila in a money laundering case.
The submission came while the court was hearing Sherpuria's bail application in the case.
On September 15, the court had sought a response from the ED on Sherpuria's bail application.
Advocate 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."
Rana had said that his client will abide by any condition imposed upon him if bail was granted.
It has been alleged that Sherpuria "duped" Gaurav 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.