Thu, 02 Apr 2020

New Delhi [India], Feb 25 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari to file his reply in the Trial Court within a week on plea challenging proceedings under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, and observed that no coercive steps be taken against him till the next date of hearing.

Justice Anu Chawla directed Bhandari to file his reply in the Trial Court within a week, but observed that no coercive steps be taken against him till the next date of hearing.

The High Court was hearing Bhandari's petition under Section 482 CrPC seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, the plea stated that there is no material in the possession of the Enforcement Directorate that the Scheduled Offence under Section 51 of the Black Money Act was in excess of Rs. 100 crores.

It further stated that Section 2(1) (m) of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act requires that the scheduled offence must be of a value of Rs. 100 crores or more, which has not been proved by any cogent evidence in the present case.

"The assessment has not been completed by the Income Tax Department under the Black Money Act, 2015 and therefore, there is no basis for the Enforcement Directorate to assume that the offence under Section 51 of the Black Money Act is in excess of Rs. 100 crores," plea stated.

Further, it was submitted that no cogent evidence has been shown to prove that Bhandari is the owner of any of the alleged foreign assets in question.

Bhandari is also accused in a money laundering case and in another case under the Official Secrets Act.

He was declared a proclaimed offender by a trial court here in January 2018, which was quashed by Delhi High Court in July 2018.

The ED had lodged a money laundering case against Bhandari, who is a close associate of Robert Vadra, relating alleged money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

The London property was allegedly bought by Bhandari and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses on the renovation. (ANI)

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