Supertech Chairman RK Arora Sent to Judicial Custody until July 24

Delhi’s Patiala House Court has ordered the judicial custody of Supertech’s Chairman, RK Arora, until July 24, 2023. Arora was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case and was in ED remand. On Monday, he appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala at Delhi’s Patiala House Court after the completion of his remand period.

During the hearing, the court noted that an application filed on behalf of the accused, seeking a copy of the grounds of arrest, is pending. The ED has filed a reply to this application. The accused’s counsel argued that without knowledge of the grounds of arrest, the accused is unable to file an effective bail application. The application will be heard on July 13 at 2 pm.

Previously, when sending Arora to ED remand, the court stated that the power to seek remand is inherent in the power of arrest and investigation regarding alleged offenses of money laundering. The court clarified that the ED has the authority to seek custody for further examination and interrogation. The court also emphasized that the ED officers’ power to seek custody is inferred from the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The court highlighted that the investigation of the offenses defined under Section 3, punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA, is not yet complete, despite the issuance of a provisional attachment order. The ED justified its request for custody, stating that there are still ongoing investigations into the commission of offenses under the PMLA.

However, the court had previously directed that Arora’s interrogation should be conducted at a location with CCTV coverage, following guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. The CCTV footage of the interrogation should be preserved. The court also permitted Arora to meet his advocates for half an hour daily between 6 pm and 7 pm during his custody period, ensuring that the ED officials cannot overhear their conversations. Additionally, he was allowed to carry necessary medicines as per prescription. However, the court denied the request for homemade food.

Earlier, the court was apprised that 26 FIRs were registered against Supertech Limited and its group companies, alleging criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, and other offenses, related to the cheating of at least 670 homebuyers for an amount of Rs. 164 Crores. The ED further alleged that funds collected by Supertech Ltd. were diverted to group companies for the purchase of properties with significantly lower values.

The ED claimed that the accused individuals acquired properties and made illegal gains through criminal activities related to scheduled offenses. A prima facie case for the commission of offenses under Section 3 and Section 4 of the PMLA has been established.

Arora’s defense lawyer, RK Handoo, opposed the plea and argued that his client had been illegally arrested without being furnished the grounds of arrest. The defense lawyer also pointed out that the present ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) was registered in 2021, and the investigating agency had already completed its examination and issued a provisional attachment order on April 11, 2023. As a result, the defense argued that there was no requirement for the arrest and that the ED is not entitled to custody remand as they are not police officers under the law.

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