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Unitech Case: Supreme Court Issues Notice On ED’s Petition Contesting Preeti Chandra’s Bail Granted By Delhi High Court

In a money laundering case, the Supreme Court issued notice on Friday in response to a petition by the Directorate of Enforcement challenging the Delhi High Court’s decision to grant Preeti Chandra, the wife of Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra, parole. Initially, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), informed a vacation Bench consisting of Justices Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal that the High Court had stayed the bail order passed on June 14, 2023, until Friday, June 16, 2023, because ED would file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

The Bench issued a notice in the petition, which essentially sought to cancel the parole order. It suspended the operation of the challenged order pending further orders from the Supreme Court. Chandra was given two weeks to submit her response, and the ED was given the same amount of time to file its rejoinder. The matter will be heard again in four weeks. At the request of the Senior Counsel representing Chandra, the Bench permitted her to petition for provisional bail on health grounds before the competent court, which, it directed, would be considered by the law and unaffected by the pending case.

The trial court denied parole to Chandra in November of last year, citing “the enormity of the transactions and the gravity of the allegations.” The money laundering case was submitted after Delhi Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation filed FIRs against the Unitech Group and its promoters based on complaints from homebuyers.  In 2021, the ED filed a PMLA case against Uniteth Group and its promoters, alleging that the company’s proprietors, Sanjay and Ajay Chandra, unlawfully diverted over Rs. 2,000 crores to Cyprus and the Cayman Islands. The ED has filed an indictment in this case. The investigating agency alleged that the funds collected from purchasers for housing initiatives were not used for their intended purpose and that the defendants engaged in money laundering. The ED also alleged that Preeti Chandra received Rs. 107 crores in criminal proceeds through her company ‘Prakausli Investments Private Limited’ but did not specify how the money was ultimately utilized.

[Case Title: Enforcement v. Preeti Chandra Diary No. 24358/2023]

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