Charge-Sheet Names Lawyer Rohit Tandon As Accused In Money Laundering Case

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate today filed a supplementary charge sheet before a Delhi court against lawyer Rohit Tandon in connection with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act or PMLA case involving Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha.

The prosecution complaint (charge sheet) was filed before Additional Sessions Judge AK Kuhar by Enforcement Directorate Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana who said the court has now kept it for consideration on February 2, 2018.

This is the first time that Mr Tandon’s name has appeared as an accused in the matter involving Mr Lodha who was charge-sheeted earlier this year for alleged conversion of over Rs. 25 crore old currency into new notes.

Mr Lodha has been accused of conspiring along with Mr Tandon and indulging in converting old demonetised notes into new currency on commission basis which constitutes the offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

In its charge sheet filed in February, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that the new currency, which was entrusted to banks and government officials and was supposed to be delivered to public/bank account holders, appeared to have been misappropriated by Mr Lodha and others for their monetary gains, thereby “cheating public at large” and causing monetary loss to the government.

While Mr Lodha was arrested on December 21, 2016, in connection with alleged conversion of over Rs. 25 crore old currency into new notes, Mr Tandon is in custody since last year in connection with a similar case lodged by the ED.

The charge sheet filed earlier, said Mr Lodha had committed offences, including those under sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The agency had told the court that Lodha was involved in the offence of money laundering which “frustrated” demonetisation policy of the government posing “serious threat” to financial health of the country.

Mr Tandon was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate after a raid in connection with a black money probe which led to the alleged seizure of Rs. 13.6 crore from his law firm. He was alleged to be involved in illegal conversion of nearly Rs. 60 crore demonetised currency.