“Considering the nature of the offence, seriousness of allegations and a strong possibility of applicant/accused attempting to influence the course of trial by influencing the witnesses and tampering with the evidence, I am of the considered opinion that the bail application is bereft of any merits and the same is accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.
The bail plea was opposed by ED’s special public prosecutor N K Matta.
Gehlot was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had raided Gehlot, his company Aman Hospitality Private Limited (AHPL), some other firms of the Ambience group, director in the company Dayanand Singh, Mohan Singh Gehlot, and their associates in July last year.
The ED case against Gehlot, who is also a promoter of the Ambience Mall in Gurugram, is based on a 2019 FIR of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Jammu against AHPL and its directors for alleged money laundering in the construction and development of the five-star Leela Ambience Convention Hotel located near Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi.
The ED claimed that its probe found that a huge part of the loan amount of more than Rs 800 crore, which was sanctioned by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was siphoned off by AHPL, Raj Singh Gehlot, and his associates through a web of companies owned and controlled by them.
“A substantial part of the loan money was transferred by AHPL to several companies and individuals on the pretext of payment of running bills and advance for the supply of material and work executed,” the agency had alleged.
The employees of the Ambience group and Gehlot’s associates were made directors and proprietors in these companies and Gehlot was the “authorised signatory” in many of these entities, it had said.