Why bizman Gaurav Dalmia, wife not made accused in PMLA case? ‘conman’ Sanjay Prakash Rai asks ED before court

 Alleged conman Sanjay Prakash Rai alias Sanjay Sherpuria asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a Delhi court on Friday why it has not made businessman Gaurav Dalmia and his wife Sharmila accused in a money laundering case lodged against him.

The agency has alleged that Rai, who cheated several people by claiming himself to be close to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), senior bureaucrats and politicians, “duped” Gaurav Dalmia and his family to the tune of Rs 12 crore by instilling in him a fear of arrest in an ongoing investigation by the ED.

An amount of Rs 6 crore from the total sum was received in the bank account of the Youth Rural Entrepreneur Foundation (YREF), of which Rai was a signatory, in January, 2023 from Dalmia Family Office Trust wherein Gaurav Dalmia is a trustee, the ED said. Rai is alleged to have forged documents in respect of the payment to conceal the true nature of transactions.

Advocate Nitesh Rana, representing the accused, asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sachin Gupta during the hearing on Rai’s bail application why the probe agency has not made the Dalmias the accused in the case since it was probing the “proceeds of crime” and they had paid the money.

“Gaurav Dalmia and Sharmila Dalmia must also become accused in given facts and circumstances as they are alleged to have paid the amount, which is the proceeds of crime and the basis of the case,” Rana said.

He claimed that as per the allegation in a charge sheet filed by the Uttar Pradesh police against the accused in the case which was the basis of the money laundering matter, Rai showed his photographs and contacts with influential bureaucrats and politicians to Sharmila and promised to help her husband with a case lodged against him by the ED and for that Rs 6 crore was paid in the account of YREF.

“It is pertinent to mention that the charge sheet neither discloses cases pending against Gaurav nor does it mention which case or what kind of cases are pending against him who sought help of the applicant,” he said.

Rana urged the court to direct the prosecuting agency to produce the record of the case pending against Gaurav Dalmia.

The counsel claimed the entire case was a “figment of imagination” of the investigating agency, and that there was no evidence against Rai.

He told the court the accused was no longer required for investigation since the probe was already complete and the charge sheet filed.

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The counsel told the court that Rai will abide by any condition imposed upon him if bail was granted.

The ED had on August 2 filed the charge sheet against Rai under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The money laundering case stems from an FIR filed by Lucknow Police alleging that Rai projected himself as close to senior politicians and bureaucrats and duped the general public of big sums of money. He also claimed he was an influencer, a social worker and associated with the PMO.

The ED had arrested Rai a few months ago after it conducted searches at 42 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida, Ghazipur, Pune and Gandhidham.

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