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Court was hearing former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair's bail plea in connection with the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam.
The Delhi High Court on Friday “reserved order” in former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair's bail plea in connection with the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam.
Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju on behalf of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) contended that Vijay Nair had his house next to the Chief Minister's house, and he was actively involved in the policy-making. He could take inputs from the main persons and pass them on to Manish Sisodia, the ASG said.
“Vijay Nair is a person supposedly on paper dealing with the Aam Aadmi Party's communication, otherwise he was 'actively involved' with the top-level members of AAP. He was negotiating with people for the policy”, he submitted.
Reading statements made by the co-conspirators, Raju contended that the conspiracy of kickback payments was done through one Rajesh and another person. “Ultimately Vijay Nair was the face of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)”, he added.
On the role of Nair in the conspiracy, the ASG submitted that “…the south group gave Rs. 100 crores to Vijay Nair...Vijay assisted Abhishek Boinpally and Dinesh Arora...."
On the money trail of the kickbacks of Rs.100 crore, the ASG submitted, “Vijay Nair and the AAP Party urgently needed money for elections in Goa...gave note/currency numbers and phone numbers for Hawala transactions in the Bengali market. So, invoices were raised, cash paid and then cash removed”.
On the contrary, Senior Advocate Rebecca John on behalf of Nair argued, “It is the prosecution's case that I am in custody for the 249th day in custody. Am I in custody for so long because vendors were paid in 10lakh, and 15lakh in Goa Elections? I cannot be behind bars because I was the face of AAP (as they say). I cannot be behind bars for sharing a residence with the CM. He has not handled money, he only handled pieces of paper which Lupen and others gave”.
“All they are saying is just peripheral. Money must be identified that it was paid for Money Laundering. All that Vijay Nair said was he coordinated the Chariot Production. I have been in custody in a case where there is no head, no tail”, the senior counsel added.
John contended, “My Lordship! May impose any condition. All the people coming to this court are Influential persons. In a money laundering case, the fulcrum is the money if you don't find the money, then none of us has to be in this court. By finding I mean that money reached this person”.
Taking note of the submissions, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma 'reserved order' in the bail plea.
Notably, on February 16, Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi, denied bail to Vijay Nair and four others in a money laundering case related to the Delhi Excise Policy Case.
Observing that “allegations are quite serious”, the court had denied bail to Nair, Sameer Mahendru, Abhishek Boinpally, Sarath Chandra Reddy, and Benoy Babu.
The judge in the 123-page order had stated that there was enough incriminating evidence to show the entire “modus operandi” adopted by the accused persons for the commission of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Case Title: Vijay Nair v. Directorate of Enforcement
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