A Delhi court has directed the Enforcement Directorate or ED to file charges within a week against a man arrested in a Rs 5,000 crore-bank loan scam case against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech for allegedly sending Rs 25 lakh cash to the official residence of a senior Congress leader in New Delhi.
The court, which had earlier issued open-ended non-bailable warrants against the pharmaceutical 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 its final stage.
An open-ended non-bailable warrant does not carry a time limit for execution unlike regular non-bailable warrants.
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 Rs 25 lakh to the politician's residence through a man named Rakesh Chandra.
The custody was extended till October 9 on the request of ED's special public prosecutor Nites Rana.
Apart from the Sandesra brothers, the court had also issued non-bailable warrants against Chetan Sandesara's wife Dipti Chetan Sandesara, also a director in the firm, and her brother Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel.
The open-ended non-bailable warrants were issued after Mr Rana told the court that the four accused were likely to have left the country.
In charges, filed through advocate AR 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. Ranjit 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 a complaint filed earlier by the CBI.
The CBI had charged Vadodara-based Sterling Biotech, its directors Nitin, Chetan, Dipti, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and other unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.
According to the complaint, the total pending dues of the group of companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.
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