Demonetisation fraud: Court takes cognisance on charge sheet
A Delhi court on Saturday took cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet filed against two bank officials and another person in a case of alleged irregularities related to conversion of old currency and supply of new notes.
Additional Sessions Judge Prashant Kumar took cognisance of the charge sheet and directed the agency to supply copies of the documents to the accused who were present at the hearing.
The charge sheet filed through Special Public Prosecutor Vikas Garg, who appeared for ED, named as accused 32-year-old Vineet Gupta, then branch manager in Axis Bank's Kashmere Gate branch here, 33-year-old Shobit Sinha, then manager (operations) in the bank, and Rajeev Kumar Kushwaha, suspected to be the mastermind behind floating of shell companies. The three accused are presently lodged in judicial custody.
The court listed the matter for April 1 for scrutiny of documents.
This was the first charge sheet, called prosecution complaint by the agency, filed in money laundering cases resulting from demonetisation against officials of the Axis Bank branch here and others.
The ED has filed the charge sheet in the case, running into over 750 pages, detailing the alleged roles of the three arrested accused. It has also cited 22 witnesses and said the investigation in the case is still going on and it will file a supplementary charge sheet later on.
According to sources, the ED said in its charge sheet that the probe has found that Gupta, Sinha and Kushwaha have allegedly generated properties out of the proceeds of crime and sought the court's direction to confiscate those assets.
The probe agency has also given money trail details along with CCTV footage of the bank, call detail records of several persons and other documentary evidences with its report.
Gupta and Sinha were arrested by ED on December 4, 2016 and later on suspended by the bank. Subsequently, Kushwaha was also apprehended.
The ED had claimed the probe has revealed that Rs 39 crore in cash was in question and several companies were involved in the case. It had said a gold brick worth Rs 39 lakh had been recovered from Sinha while another is yet to be found.
It had claimed that Kushwaha "used the identity documents of various persons to form shell companies" through which cash deposits of Rs 39 crore were made between November 10 and November 22 in "close connivance" with the two bank managers.
The two bankers were taking commission against the total amount deposited, the ED had claimed, adding that they agreed to take commission in the form of gold bar which was worth Rs 39 lakh.
Axis Bank had said in a statement, "The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct. In this particular case, the bank has suspended the erring employee and is cooperating with the investigating agencies."