Court junks former Tops Group MD's plea seeking release from prison in money laundering case

Chandole and Sasidharan had sought release from prison in the light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cannot continue if there is no prior First Information Report registered by another agency.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 08:24 PM IST
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A special court here on Wednesday rejected the pleas for relief of former Managing Director of Tops Group M Sasidharan and its promoter Amit Chandole, arrested in an alleged money laundering case.

Chandole, who had promoted the private security firm, is an alleged associate of Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik.

Chandole and Sasidharan had sought release from prison in the light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cannot continue if there is no prior First Information Report registered by another agency.

As per the PMLA provisions, a prior `scheduled offence' is a requisite for the ED to initiate action against a person.

Chandole was arrested in November 2020 by the Enforcement Directorate. Sasidharan had been arrested a few months earlier. The ED had registered its complaint on the basis of a case registered by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police.

But the EOW in January 2022 filed a closure report before a magistrate's court saying there was no evidence of crime. The court accepted the report last week.

The accused then moved the court of special PMLA judge M G Deshpande, seeking discharge on the ground that proceedings in the ED case cannot continue.

The ED in its reply said the closure report of the EOW can not be said to be final as long as the time for filing appeal against it does not get over. The court, after hearing both sides, rejected the applications of Chandole and Sasidharan.

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