The Delhi High Court has sought the ED’s stand on a petition by Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai challenging his arrest and remand in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam, alleging that there ‘Third degree’ methods have been applied to obtain information. .
“Third degree” refers to the brutality of police officers interrogating a suspect.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma on Friday asked the probe agency to file a response regarding the maintainability of the plea.
Advocate Nitesh Rana, who represented the petitioner, submitted that the March 6 arrest warrant issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the subsequent remand orders issued by the court sending him to the custody of the agency and subsequently to the judicial custody were in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In his plea, the petitioner has submitted that he was never provided with grounds for arrest orally or in writing as required under Article 19(1) of the PMLA and this also violates his constitutional rights.
It is further submitted that the remand orders have not revealed whether the ED had any material which could ‘constitute grounds to believe’ that the petitioner has committed an offense under the PMLA.
“The Enforcement Directorate has vindictively and solely as a witch hunt used coercive tactics to obtain information and initiate third degree action against the petitioner/applicant in this case and the other accused persons,” the petition said.
The ED “was enabled to act in such an unlawful manner by issuing both the impugned arrest warrant and the impugned remand order, which in itself is a ground for quashing the said impugned arrest warrant and the impugned remand order,” it said. the report.
The ED’s counsel submitted that the request was not maintainable.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on November 3, when the petitioner’s bail application will also be taken up.
Earlier this month, the petitioner had sought bail in the case, saying there was not a shred of evidence to keep him in jail.
On June 8, a court here rejected Pillai’s bail plea, saying his role was more serious than that of another accused still in jail and that ED’s case was prima facie genuine.
Not only was Pillai a participant in the ‘conspiracy’, but prima facie he was also found to be involved in various activities related to the proceeds, including concealing, possessing, acquiring or using them, and projecting them as untouched property. the court had said.
The ED, in its chargesheet filed in the case, has alleged that Pillai was a close associate of BRS MLC K. Kavitha. The ED’s money laundering case stems from an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to the CBI and the ED, irregularities were committed in the amendment of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-2022 (now scrapped) and undue favors were granted to permit holders.
The Delhi government had implemented the excise policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it in late September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.