ED on Thursday has sought 14-day remand of him.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana while sending him on ED remand said, “considering the totality of circumstances, I am of the considered opinion that ED has set out a case for custodial interrogation of accused Raj Singh Gehlot. In view of the same, accused Raj Singh Gehlot is remanded to ED custody till August 5, 2021.”
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa and advocate Tanveer Ahmad Mir represented the businessman while advocate Amit Mahajan (standing counsel for the Central Government) and Naveen Kumar Matta, Special Public Prosecutor appeared for the ED in the matter.
Advocate Pahwa submitted that the accused was never arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police in the predicate offence. He submitted that the scope of the investigation as revealed from the remand application goes much beyond the scope of scheduled offences. Pahwa argued that no offence of money laundering is made out in the instant case as not only the hotel has been duly constructed by the accused out of the impugned loan amount but each and every penny spent by the accused can be duly explained by him.
The lawyer further submitted that two forensic auditor’s reports support the case of the accused. The lawyer also further submitted that as there are no ‘proceeds of crime’ in the instant matter, therefore, no offence of money laundering is made out in the instant matter.
The ED arrested Gehlot earlier in the day in an alleged bank loan fraud case worth more than Rs 800 crore. He was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) for committing bank fraud against the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Consortium.
Last year, the ED had initiated an investigation under PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by State ACB, Jammu against Aman Hospitality Pvt Ltd (AHPL) and its Directors for money laundering in the construction and development of the 5-star ‘Leela Ambience Convention Hotel’ situated near the Yamuna Sports Complex in Delhi, the investigation agency said.
It stated that investigation under PMLA revealed that a huge part of a 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 and Raj Singh Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies controlled by them.