HomeBureaucracyAction (Disciplinary)SC quashes ED case against ex IAS Anil Tuteja in Chhattisgarh liquor...

SC quashes ED case against ex IAS Anil Tuteja in Chhattisgarh liquor scam

The apex court has quashed the money laundering case against former IAS Anil Tuteja who was named ‘kingpin‘ in Chhattisgarh liquor case

The Supreme Court quashed the case against former IAS officer Anil Tuteja and his son Yash in the alleged Rs 2,000 crore liquor scam in Chhattisgarh, saying there were no proceeds of crime.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan quashed the complaint after noting that since no ex-facie scheduled offence (main offence) exists against Anil Tuteja and his son, no offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was made out.

“As there is no scheduled offence, there cannot be any proceeds of crime as defined under clause 2(u) of the PMLA. If there is no proceeds of crime, the offence under PMLA is not made out,” the bench ruled.

Additional SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), indicated that the probe agency may lodge a fresh complaint against the accused in view of additional material the agency has recovered during the investigation.

The bench said it is not going to intervene in the proceedings which are likely to be initiated.

On April 5, the top court had indicated that it may quash the money laundering case against the father-son duo, saying there were no proceeds of crime.

In the prosecution complaint, the ED's version of a chargesheet, filed in the special PMLA court, the anti-money laundering agency had said that former IAS officer Anil Tuteja is the “kingpin” of the syndicate involved in illegal supply of in Chhattisgarh.

On January 8, the top court had asked the ED to produce the ECIR and the FIR based on which the probe agency had lodged the complaint in the alleged liquor scam case.

It had said the Tutejas have in their writ petition challenged Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It maintained the challenge cannot be considered in view of the 2022 apex court verdict which upheld the ED's power to search, seize and arrest. Section 50 gives ED the power to summon people.

The top court had said their other prayer dealt with the challenge to the ECIR, the ED's equivalent of an FIR.

On July 18, 2023, the top court had asked the ED to “stay their hand in all manner” in the case and ordered that no coercive action be taken against the father-son duo.

The then Congress government in Chhattisgarh had alleged in the top court that the probe agency was “running amok” and was trying to implicate minister Bhupesh Baghel in a money laundering case linked to the alleged liquor scam.

It had alleged that the officers of the state were harassed by the probe agency and were being told to give details of their properties, which were being attached.

The Congress government had alleged that 52 state excise department officials had complained that the ED was threatening them and their family members with arrest.

The ED has claimed the alleged scam was perpetrated by a syndicate of high-level state government officials, private persons and executives that generated more than Rs 2,000 crore in tainted money in 2019-22.

The money laundering case stems from a 2022 income tax department charge sheet filed in a court in Delhi.

The federal agency had alleged that bribes were collected from distillers in the state on a per liquor case basis procured from the CSMCL (state body for purchase and sale of liquor) and country liquor was being sold off-the-books.

According to the ED, bribes were taken from distillers to allow them to form a cartel and have a fixed market share.

The BuckStopper Reporter
The BuckStopper Reporterhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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