Delhi court issues NBW against UK national in case involving fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

A Delhi court has issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against UK national Sumit Chadha in a money laundering case related to fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others.

Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen passed the order, noting that the presence of Chadha cannot be secured through the ordinary process.

Unlike a regular non-bailable warrant, an open-ended NBW has no time limit for its execution.

The court passed the order after taking cognisance of a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate(ED) against the accused, saying there was sufficient ground for summoning him.

“At the request of the Directorate… I am satisfied that the presence of accused Sumit Chadha cannot be secured through the ordinary process. Open-ended NBW has been prayed for. NBW is ordered against accused Sumit Chadha for his arrest and production before this Court, accordingly,” the judge said.

The court noted the submission made by the ED that summons were issued to Chadha through diplomatic channels but he refused to receive them.

The judge will further hear the matter on January 29.

According to ED, represented by Special Public Prosecutors Naveen Kumar Matta and Anil Khatri, besides advocate Mohd Faizan Khan, Sanjay Bhandari had created a web of entities by engaging various individuals based in the UAE and the UK for the purpose of acquiring several properties outside India.

“Perusal of the several e-mails exchanged, filed on record, clearly indicates that accused Sumit Chadha was working in tandem and was close confidant of accused Sanjay Bhandari,” the ED claimed.

The Enforcement Directorate launched the probe against Bhandari and others in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on a complaint filed by the Income Tax department in December 2018. The IT authority had booked Bhandari under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.

The central probe agency told the court that charges are yet to be framed against Bhandari, a proclaimed offender, as he is absconding. Bhandari has appealed against his extradition from the UK.

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