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No HC bail for Sukesh's wife, says duo ran crime syndicate for biz promotion

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
July 11, 2023 21:24 IST
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The Delhi high court dismissed on Tuesday the bail plea of Leena Paulose, the wife of alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekar, in a Rs 200 crore extortion case, saying the probe has revealed that the couple acted in tandem in running the organised crime syndicate and used the proceeds of crime for promoting their business and other interests.

IMAGE: Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi police arrest partner of Sukesh Chandrashekhar Leena (third from left) in connection with duping the wife of former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Singh's wife Aditi Singh, in New Delhi, September 6, 2021. Photograph: ANI Photo

The high court said the investigation has shown the crime proceeds were used for air travel and purchase of high-end branded gifts for Bollywood celebrities.


Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said the probe has revealed that a substantial part of the proceeds of crime was also used by Chandrashekar to bribe officials of Rohini jail to secure favours like single use of barrack, uninterrupted use of mobile phones and electronic gadgets to run the organised crime syndicate.

Besides Paulose, the high court also rejected the bail pleas of lawyer B Mohan Raj and Kamlesh Kothari, a high-end car dealer in Chennai, and upheld a trial court's order denying them the relief.

It said Raj played an important role in running the syndicate led by Chandrashekar and the probe had shown that Kothari helped the couple purchase luxury cars with the extorted funds.

The bail plea was opposed by the counsel appearing for the Delhi police who had said it was a serious case where Chandrashekar has been accused of making calls from jail by impersonating dignitaries and that there was a clear-cut conspiracy between Paulose and her husband.

The Delhi police had registered an FIR against Chandrashekar for allegedly duping the wives of former promoters of Ranbaxy, Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, of Rs 200 crore.

There are several other ongoing investigations against him across the country.

Chandrasekhar and Paulose, who are also facing proceedings in a money laundering case registered by the ED, were arrested by Delhi Police in the extortion case involving the wives of the two Singh brothers, along with others.

The police also invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act in the case.

The Delhi police had alleged that Paulose and Chandrashekar along with others used hawala routes and created shell companies to park the money earned as proceeds of crime.

The high court said it is not able to persuade itself on the basis of the material on record that the petitioners are not guilty of crime.

“Thus, this court is if the considered opinion that the case is of a very sensitive nature and prima facie petitioners are involved in offences of MCOCA and the finding cannot be recorded at this stage that the petitioners are not guilty of such offence and they are not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

"This court also does not find any illegality or infirmity in the order of the trial court. Hence, the bail applications of Leena Paulose, B Mohan Raj and Kamlesh Kothari are rejected,” it said.

The high court said the investigation revealed that Paulose was involved in running an organised crime syndicate since 2013 for pecuniary gain by cheating and extortion, and she along with her husband was accused in four criminal cases.

“Investigation has also revealed that accused Chandrashekar and Paulose were constantly in touch with each other and acted in tandem for furtherance of the organised crime syndicate by using the proceed of crime for promoting their business and other interests orchestrated for the purpose of the converting/ laundering their proceed of crime,” it said in a 59-page judgement passed while deciding the bail pleas of the three accused.

Citing the investigation, the court said Rs 217 crore received through extortion was used by the couple for creation of wealth and to establish business concerns.

The funds were also distributed amongst the members of the crime syndicate for carrying out assignments on the orders of the couple.

The high court said the ED seized 23 high end luxury cars from her house in Chennai in 2021 and it was revealed that she made the payment for the ‘Silent Calling App' which was being used by Chandrashekar on his mobile phone to commit crime while he was in Jail.

It noted that the statements of various persons recorded by ED, including Bollywood actress Nora Fatehi, revealed the active role of Paulose in the crime.

Paulose sought bail claiming she complied with many demands and suggestions of her husband in good faith and as a dutiful wife without understanding the consequences.

However, the court said it was “unbelievable” that such a huge amount of money was coming into her account and she was accepting it only as a “dutiful wife”.

“It does not appeal to the reason that the high end cars were being purchased, the flights were being taken on charter without having any knowledge about free flow of money. It is beyond comprehension that a lady who is well educated will not know the source of money.

"The other grounds taken by the petitioner (Paulose) relating to her fundamental rights and right to be mother are liable to be rejected as she does not fulfil the twin conditions as laid under the MCOCA. It is also pertinent to note that her husband is also in custody," the high court said.

The high court rejected the contention of the three accused that there are no allegations which would link them to the foundational allegation of extortion and therefore there is no prima facie case to invoke the provisions of MCOCA against them.

It said the allegations levelled by the probe agency were that these accused were channelising the ill-gotten money received through foundational crime of extortion.

“Their role is in fact facilitating the continuing commission of the crime by or on behalf of the syndicate. The provisions of MCOCA can be attributed to an individual if his role amounts to any assistance to organised crime or organised crime syndicate or to a person involved in either of them,” it said.

The court said it is a settled proposition that it is not necessary that each member of the syndicate should have a similar role, and the individual members can have different roles in the commission of crime.

Paulose had sought bail submitting that most of the offences for which she has been booked by the Delhi police are bailable and claimed that she has no direct connection with the crimes committed by her husband Sukesh Chandrashekar.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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