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Rs 200 cr money laundering case: Delhi HC issues notice to ED on Pooja Singh bail plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Enforcement Directorate on a bail petition moved by Pooja Singh, said to be a close aide of jailed Leena Maria Paul, wife of conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in Rupees 200 crores money laundering case. Her bail plea was earlier rejected by the trial court.

The Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh on Monday sought a response from the financial probe agency in the matter and listed it for February 2, 2023. Advocate Satish Pandey appeared for Pooja Singh and stated that Trial Court while rejecting bail plea, failed to consider that the petitioner is one of the employees of said NAIL-ARTISTARY run by the accused Leena Maria Palouse and she was bound to follow the instructions of her boss as and when she passes to her being her employee.

Petitioner was doing the said acts on instructions of her boss understanding the same as a part of her service without knowing about the crime-racket of the alleged main accused but it is true that she never supplied the alleged articles to the accused in Jail and Investigating Agency have not found any incriminating evidence to the effect of supply the said alleged articles in the jail by the petitioner to the main accused.
Advocate Satish Pandey further said that the petitioner is a 26-year young unmarried girl and who joined the job for livelihood, in the NAIL-ARTESTARY beauty saloon run by the Leena Maria Palouse in the city of Chennai. When employer Leena got arrested by the ED and languished in the Delhi jail, she was bound to follow the instruction & advice of her boss who is an inmate of jail.

"Petitioner was totally unaware of this high-profile crime syndicate as allegedly run by the main accused. She has nothing to do with the said alleged money laundering of Rs 200 crores as alleged by the ED against the main accused," said the lawyer.
While arrested Pooja Singh in July month of 2022, the ED said, she is non-cooperative and evasive in her statement. She deleted the data of her phones in the instructions of Sukesh.

It was further submitted that Pooja Singh is in possession of material evidence and information related to the offence of money laundering and is deliberately withholding/not divulging the same.

It was further submitted that custodial interrogation of the accused is essential for the identification of the persons involved in the offence and to ascertain the end use of proceeds of crime, their beneficial owners, related activities/financial transactions, layering and to unearth the deep routed conspiracy hatched by her with co-accused for the furtherance of the investigation.

It was also alleged that Pooja Singh was assisting Sukesh Chandrashekar to pass information to transfer funds kept with his associates.
It was also alleged that Pooja Singh was in the knowledge of the fact that sales in Nail Artistry, owned by Sukesh and his wife, were from the amalgamation of proceeds of crime and still continue to do so.

ED also alleged that Pooja Singh assisted Sukesh Chandrashekar in laundering the proceeds of crime by allowing him to exchange messages through her for which she paid a handsome amount. Therefore their reasons to believe that the accused is guilty of the offence of money laundering under PMLA.
The Rs 200 crore extortion and Money Laundering case is presently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate and Economic Offence Wing of Delhi Police.

The ED in its supplementary chargesheet has made Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez an accused in the case. The Trial Court in November 2022 granted regular bail to Jacqueline in the case.
Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the prime accused in an Rs200-crore money laundering case, has been charged with duping the wife of former Ranbaxy owner Shivinder Singh, Aditi Singh, while he was lodged in a Delhi jail. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the money trail of the proceeds in the case. (ANI)

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