New Delhi, Aug 4: The Enforcement Directorate has told a Delhi court that it has evidence of Rs 25 lakh suspected to be bribe, delivered at the residence of Ahmed Patel, a Congress Rajya Sabha member and close aide of Sonia Gandhi.
The submission was made when the ED was seeking custody of a person by the name Ranjit Malik, who had been arrested in connection with a money laundering case. The case which was registered by the CBI relates to the Sterling Biotech, a pharmaceutical firm in Gujarat that got Rs 5,000 crore loan on forged documents.
The ED further told the court that it had recorded the statement of one Rakesh Chandra, who said he had acted as a courier for Malik. He also spoke about delivering Rs 25 lakh cash to 23, Mother Teresa Crescent Road, which incidentally is the official residence of Ahmed Patel. The charges were however rubbished by Patel who said it was baseless and like the one against him win the AugustaWestland case.
The ED also said that in addition to the statement, it also had telephonic conversations and financial transactions as proof to back its charges.
It may be recalled that in 2011, Income Tax raids at the pharma had led to the recovery of a diary which allegedly has a list of payoffs to several persons including politicians, tax officials and a senior police officer. Last year, the CBI registered a case.
The government says three of the firm's directors, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara and Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, fled the country in 2017. The ED however said that it had seized the company's assets worth Rs 4,700 crore.