CBI vs CBI: ED files reply on Satish Sana’s plea

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed its reply before the Delhi High Court over a plea by Hyderabad based businessman Satish Sana Babu seeking quashing of the ED’s action against him.

The ED has filed its reply before a division bench of the High Court.

The agency in its reply said that Sana was “unable to justify a payment of Rs 1.5 crore made to the main accused (Moin Qureshi) as a bonafide business expense and thus custodial interrogation was required.”

“The Petitioner has arrested in accordance with the mandate of Section 19 and by no stretch of the imagination have the actions been violative of the mandate of the Constitution,” the ED said.

Denying the claims of Sana that he has been issued summons even after no new facts have emerged in the case, the ED said, “…assuming that no new facts have emerged, even then, to further an investigation, there is no bar on summoning a person to clarify and verify the existing facts. It is submitted that the petitioner has said that he has been summoned twice without any new fact emerging. However, it is wrong to say so, as investigations in respect of financial transactions that took place between the petitioner and Moin Qureshi are still underway.”

The ED also submitted that the investigation in respect of the source of these funds which are nothing but Proceeds of Crime is still underway and backward acquisition, manner of transfer and subsequent utilization is being investigated so that the entire trail of the Proceeds of crime can be unearthed.

The ED termed the whole petition as a “misconceived interpretation of the law, which in no stretch of imagination is a reasonable one.”

The agency claimed that it is well within its rights to change the status from witness to accused, if new facts emerge during the course of investigations. Merely because a person has been cited as a witness in earlier proceedings does not place him in any exalted position.

Sana through his counsels Wasey Khan and Shaikh Bakhtiyar knocked at the doors of the High Court seeking quashing of the money laundering case, allegedly involving him and meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Sana also sought quashing of summons issued by the ED under section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on July 18 and 25, alleging them to be illegal and violative of the provision of Indian Evidence Act and the Constitution.

Sana in his petition claimed that earlier he was named as a witness in the case and appeared before the ED in pursuance to the summons, he was later arrested on July 26 on the ground that there were contradictions in his statements.

In October last year, on the basis of a complaint filed by Sana, a case was registered against then CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana on charges of accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was related to the case.

The CBI’s special probe team, under the then Special Director Rakesh Asthana, had recommended Sana’s arrest in its own case against Qureshi and others.