SC seeks ED’s reply on ex-Bhushan Steel promoter Singal’s bail plea in money laundering case


PTI, Jun 25, 2024, 6:31 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear the bail plea of Bhushan Steel’s former promoter Neeraj Singal in a money laundering case arising from an alleged bank fraud of Rs 46,000 crore.
A bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate and sought its response within three weeks on his application.
Singal has appealed against the January 8 order of the Delhi High Court by which his bail plea and petition challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case were dismissed.
The high court had said the Supreme Court’s decision, which mandated supply of the grounds of arrest in writing at the time of arrest, was passed after Singal was apprehended in the case. The arrest, therefore, cannot be said to be illegal.
At the time of his arrest, an oral communication of the grounds of arrest was proper compliance of the provisions of Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the court opined.
Singal, also an ex-Managing Director of Bhushan Steel, was arrested on June 9, 2023.
He contested the ED action against him, claiming he was not informed about the grounds of his arrest which, he insisted, was contrary to law.
The high court had said merely because each page of the document containing the ‘ground of arrest’ was not signed by the petitioner cannot be a reason to disbelieve the existence of the said document, or to negate the fact that the grounds of arrest were shown to the petitioner.
The ED had alleged before the high court that Singal was involved in one of the biggest banking frauds coupled with the offence of money laundering which caused a loss of more than Rs 46,000 crore of public money.
It alleged that Singal, with the connivance of other accused, knowingly engaged in “illegitimate acquisition” of loans in the name of Bhushan Steel Ltd & other group companies and indulged in laundering the proceeds of crime through a complex web of more than 150 companies.

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