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Court Directs ED To File Charge Sheet Against Accused In Bank Loan Fraud Case of over Rs 5K cr

A Delhi High Court, which had earlier issued open-ended non-bailable warrants against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech directors passed the directions after being told by the ED that its report was in final stage

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A Delhi court has directed the Enforcement Directorate to file within a week its charge sheet against a man arrested in over Rs 5,000 crore-bank loan fraud case against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech for allegedly sending Rs 25 lakh cash to the official residence of a senior Congress leader.

The court, which had earlier issued open-ended non-bailable warrants against pharma firm's directors, including Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, passed the directions after being told by the ED that its report was in final stage.

An "open-ended NBW" does not carry a time limit for execution unlike non-bailable warrants (NBW). Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora also extended the judicial custody of Ranjit Malik alias Johny, who was arrested by the agency for allegedly sending through a man named Rakesh Chandra Rs 25 lakh to the politician's residence in the national capital.

The custody was extended till October 9 on the request of ED's special public prosecutor Nites Rana. Besides Sandesra brother, the court had also issued NBW against Chetan's wife Dipti Chetan Sandesara, also a director in the firm, and her brother Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel.

The open-ended NBWs were issued after Rana told the court that the four accused were likely to have left the country. In its charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, the ED had told the court that the directors of the firm, along with others, had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which turned into non-performing asset (NPA) or bad loan.

The agency also arrested a former director of Andhra Bank, Anup Prakash Garg, in February and a Delhi-based businessman, Gagan Dhawan, last November in connection with the case. Malik was allegedly a middleman for Dhawan.

They were named as accused in the case by the ED and the CBI. The ED registered a money laundering case in this instance after taking cognisance of an FIR filed earlier by the CBI.

The CBI had booked Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech, its directors Nitin, Chetan, Dipti, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case. According to the FIR, the total pending dues of the group of companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.


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