India

Unitech: Supreme Court orders probe to Delhi CP on conduct of Tihar Jail officials, calls them shameless

By PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Delhi Police Commissioner to immediately conduct a probe into the conduct of “absolutely shameless” officials of Tihar Jail, who, along with former Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, curtailed his authority.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing money laundering charges against Chandra and Unitech Ltd, said in its two status reports that the two brothers rendered full judicial custody meaningless as they are communicating freely. , instructing and disposing of its officers. Real time properties from inside the jail with the connivance of the jail staff.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah directed both Sanjay and Ajay Chandra to be immediately shifted from Tihar Jail to Arthur Road Jail and Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai, and that they be kept separately in both the jails.

The top court said that a copy of the order would be sent by the registrar judicial to the DGP, Maharashtra, so that necessary arrangements could be made immediately for keeping the accused in those jails.

During the hearing, the bench told Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the ED, “Tihar Jail authorities have actively colluded with the accused to flout the orders of this court. All we have to say is that the Tihar Jail Superintendent and his staff are absolutely shameless. But we don’t want to leave wood for the trees. Can you imagine this happening in the center and capital city? We have lost faith in the Tihar Jail authorities. They are defeating our orders in the capital city. We will definitely take action against them but we will first remove the accused from this jail,” the bench said.

The top court said the two ED reports have raised some “serious and disturbing” issues for consideration and will be dealt with accordingly.

The top court said the ED has written a letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner on August 16 giving specific details of the manner in which the premises of Tihar Central Jail are being used for indulging in illegal activities in violation of jail rules. proceeds of crime, influencing witnesses and attempting to derail the investigation.

It directed that the commissioner personally inquire into the conduct of Tihar Jail staff with respect to Chandras and submit the report to the court within four weeks.

The bench observed that the contents of the letter written by the ED to the Delhi CP raise serious issues and is of particular concern to the court if the contents of the letter in connivance with the jail staff would reduce its jurisdiction and jurisdiction. is demanded to do. are true.

The top court said the ED’s investigation should be done expeditiously as it was going on “slow pace” and a report should be submitted in four weeks.

The court directed that video conferencing facility should be made available in both the jails so that the brothers can be present in the court proceedings in Delhi and elsewhere.

Earlier in the day, the ED made a shocking revelation and said it had uncovered a “secret underground office” here, which was being run by former Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra and on parole or bail with his sons Sanjay and Ajay was visited.

Dewan said that the Chandras have stationed their officers outside the prison to give their instructions to the outside world.

“During one of our search and seizure operations, we have unearthed a secret underground office here in South Delhi, which is being used by Ramesh Chandra and his sons visit him when he is out on parole or bail. We have recovered hundreds of original sale deeds from that office, hundreds of digital signatures and several computers containing sensitive data regarding their properties in India and abroad,” Divan told the bench.

He said the probe agency has provisionally attached properties worth Rs 600 crore of Unitech Ltd in India and abroad and found “an intricate web of money” through shell companies and the properties are being disposed of in real time. which is causing problem in investigation

“He (Chandra) is doing business from inside the jail premises. He has released full judicial custody. He is communicating and giving instructions freely with the help of deputies outside the jail premises. The ED has found that he even tried to influence a “dummy director” during interrogation by the agency, said Dewan.

On June 4, the apex court had granted 15 days interim bail to Sanjay Chandra to attend the last rites of his father-in-law, following which he surrendered.

Both Sanjay and Ajay Chandra are in jail since August 2017 for allegedly misappropriating home buyers’ money.

The apex court in its October 2017 order had asked him to deposit Rs 750 crore in the apex court registry by December 31, 2017.

The Chandra family has claimed that they have complied with the court’s conditions and have deposited an amount of more than Rs 750 crore and are therefore granted regular bail.

The case pertains to a criminal case, which began with a complaint filed in 2015 and later linked to 173 other home buyers of Unitech projects – ‘Wild Flower Country’ and ‘Anthia Project’ – based in Gurugram.

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