ANI Photo | Sanjay Bhandari case: Delhi Court stays NBW issued against UK national Sumit Chadha

The Rouse Avenue Court has stayed the execution of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against British citizen Sumit Chadha, newly accused by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering related to controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others.
The accused, through his lawyer, has moved the court for the cancellation of the NBW against him in the case.
The Additional Sessions Judge Neelofer Abida Parveen on February 3, 2024, while ordered to stay, the NBW said, as the accused, who is a British citizen living in the UK, has appeared through Counsel on coming to know of the proceedings against him before this Court, it is directed that the execution of non-bailable warrants ordered on December 22, 2023, for the production of accused Sumeet Chadha shall remain stayed till the next date of hearing, i.e., February 28, 2024.
On January 29, 2024, the Court sought a response from the Enforcement Directorate on Chadha’s plea seeking cancellation of NBW.
On January 22, Special Judge Neelofer Abida Parveen, while issuing NBW, said that I am satisfied that the presence of accused Sumit Chadha cannot be secured through the ordinary process. NBWs are ordered against accused Sumit Chadha for his arrest and production before this Court accordingly.”
Earlier, after going through the supplementary prosecution complaint (charge sheet) recently filed by ED in a money laundering case, the court said, “Having heard the Special Public Prosecutors for ED and perused the contents of the supplementary complaint, the court said there is sufficient ground for the summoning of accused C.C. Thampi (UAE-based NRI) and Sumit Chadha (UK national) as per the complaint. Summons be issued for the appearance of accused C.C. Thampi”.
The Enforcement Directorate has recently filed a supplementary chargesheet in terms of the first proviso of Section 44 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 against accused C.C. Thampi as well as accused Sumit Chadha, respectively, for the commission of an offence defined under Section 3 of PMLA, 2002 and punishable under Section 4 of PMLA, 2002.
According to ED, accused Sanjay Bhandari had created a web of entities by engaging various individuals based in the UAE and the U.K. to acquire several properties outside India. A perusal of the several emails exchanged and filed on record indicates that accused C.C. Thampi and Sumit Chadha were working in tandem and are close confidants of accused Sanjay Bhandari.
ED further added that there is ample material for proceeding against these two accused, gathered during the further investigation and submitted by way of the first supplementary complaint. The summons were issued to accused Sumit Chadha but he refused to receive the summons sent to him through diplomatic channels. He did not respond to the summons.
Advocates Naveen Kumar Matta, Arun Khatri and Mohd Faizan appeared for the Enforcement Directorate in the matter.
Sanjay Bhandari is allegedly a close associate of Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra. Vadra is presently on anticipatory bail in the present case.
It has been alleged that during the UPA era, Bhandari took commission and purchased properties in London whose beneficial owner was Robert Vadra. Robert Vadra denies these charges.
Vadra’s lawyer earlier told the court that the investigation in the said ECIR has been going on for around 6 years and is still pending, yet no proceedings before the court can be said to be pending against the applicant/Vadra nor anything incriminating has been found against the applicant till date; the applicant is, thus, not even an accused as of today.
The co-accused, Sanjay Bhandari, has evaded the process of law despite there being an LOC against him and thereafter a Red Corner Notice (RCN) was issued against him.
Now the extradition process of the main accused, Sanjay Bhandari, from the United Kingdom is at a crucial stage. As such, the possibility of the applicant evading the process of law cannot be ruled out, stated ED in court

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