Sunday, February 5, 2023

Delhi High Court denies bail to Ambience Group promoter

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday denied bail to Ambience Group promoter Raj Singh Gehlot in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged bank loan fraud.

The Court of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri was dealing with the bail plea moved by Gehlot, who is accused of siphoning of loan amount and diverting funds in connivance with bank officials through a web of shell companies and his associates. 

Justice Ohri had on February 11 reserved his order in the matter after hearing submissions advanced by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Gehlot and Advocate Zoheb Hussain, representing the Directorate of Enforcement. 
Gehlot was arrested in July last year after an investigation was initiated against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, for committing fraud worth more than Rs 800 crore against the Jammu & Kashmir Bank consortium.

The said investigation was based on a 2019 FIR registered the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Jammu against his company Aman Hospitality Private Limited (AHPL) and its directors for money laundering in the construction and development of the five-star Leela Ambience Convention Hotel situated near the Yamuna Sports Complex in the national capital.

According to the probe agency, a huge part of the loan amount of more than Rs 800 crore, which was sanctioned by a consortium of banks for the hotel project, was siphoned off by AHPL, Gehlot and his associates through a web of companies controlled by them.
He was denied bail by the Trial Court last year, while observing that there was a strong possibility that he could attempt to tamper with the evidence, if released on bail. 

“Considering the nature of the offence, seriousness of allegations and a strong possibility of applicant/accused attempting to influence the course of trial by influencing the witnesses and tampering with the evidence, I am of the considered opinion that the bail application is bereft of any merits and the same is accordingly dismissed,” noted the Trial Court.

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