New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the ED to file a response on the bail plea of a former Director of Andhra Bank arrested in a Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud case involving Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech.
Justice A.K. Pathak issued notice to the agency on the bail plea of Anup Prakash Garg and listed the matter for July 2.
The Enforcement Directorate’s counsel, Nitesh Rana, opposed the bail plea citing the serious nature of the offence.
Garg sought the bail saying he was arrested by the ED on January 12 after a case was filed against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and he has been in custody since then.
Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named Garg as an accused in criminal cases. The ED initiated a money laundering probe taking cognizance of the CBI FIR.
The CBI booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, Garg and some unidentified persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud.
Sterling Biotech had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets. Total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016, said the CBI FIR.
The ED said that during the probe, it found that “certain entries” in a diary seized by the Income Tax Department in 2011 showed cash payments amounting to Rs 1.52 crore made to one “Garg, Director, Andhra Bank” between 2008 and 2009 by the Sandesara brothers.
The agency accused Garg of infusing several crores of rupees of his unaccounted cash in various companies through Kolkata-based bogus shell companies with the help of cash or cheque entry operators in Kolkata to launder the money.