The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the immediate shifting of former Unitech directors Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra from Tihar jail to Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail and Taloja Jail following a report by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding a secret underground office run by Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra and visited by his son Sanjay and Ajay when on parole or bail. Notably, the disclosure by the ED was made during the bail hearing of Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra.
The order against the Chandras came from the division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah after additional solicitor general Madhavi Divan informed the court that the Chandras deputed their officials outside the jail to communicate their instructions to the outside world.
ED, which has been investigating money laundering charges against the Chandras’ and Unitech Ltd, said that both Sanjay and Ajay have rendered the entire judicial custody otiose as they have been freely communicating, instructing their officials and disposing of their properties from inside the jail. The top court has also ordered an investigation by the Delhi Police commissioner in the issue.
What ED said
Divan, representing the ED, argued before the court, “We have recovered hundreds of original sale deeds from that office, hundreds of digital signatures and several computers which contain sensitive data concerning their properties in India and abroad,” She said the probe agency has submitted two status reports in a sealed cover to the court and have provisionally attached Unitech Limited properties worth Rs 600 crore both in India and abroad.
She pointed out that the agency has found a very “intricate web of money trail” through shell companies and the properties are being disposed of in real-time, which is creating problems in the probe.
The issue Unitech
The matter pertains to a criminal case which started initially by one complaint lodged in 2015 and later joined by 173 other home buyers of Unitech projects— ‘Wild Flower Country’ and ‘Anthea Project’—situated in Gurugram.
On January 20 last year, in a respite to over 11,000 hassled home buyers of Unitech, the top court had allowed the Centre to take total management control of the realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors.
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