SC quashes ED Complaint in Alleged Liquor scam in Chhattisgarh

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed a money laundering complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the alleged Rs 2,000 crore liquor scam in Chhattisgarh.

A bench of Justices Abhay S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan ruled that the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) could not be attracted since there exists no prima facie scheduled offence under the Act.

The ED initiated the money laundering probe against Anil Tuteja (IAS), Yash Tuteja, Anwar Dhebar, and others based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department.

It had said that Tuteja, known to be close to then Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, was termed as the mastermind behind the alleged liquor scam.

Besides, Dhebar, the brother of the Mayor of Raipur, Ajaz Dhebar, was the “kingpin” who ran the syndicate as per the instructions of Tuteja.

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The ED has alleged that a criminal syndicate — comprising high-level state government officials, private individuals, and politicians — was operating in Chhattisgarh, which was involved in illegal bribe collection by exerting control over government departments.

The agency has attached 119 immovable properties worth Rs 121.87 crore in the case, including 14 assets worth Rs 8.83 crore belonging to Tuteja.

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