The Allahabad High Court rejected Abbas Ansari’s bail application stating that the explanation regarding funds did not “reflect credibility especially from the applicant who is a sitting MLA and an elected representative of the people.”

The Bench considered the ‘family antecedents’ of the sitting MLA, including statements in the ECIR suggesting initial non-cooperation and evasion of summons until apprehended due to a lookout notice. During custody, Ansari claimed that he did not know where the alleged funds were coming from and simply stated that his family would arrange the funds whenever he needed them.

A Single Bench of Justice Jaspreet Singh observed, “This plea considering the fact that the applicant is a member of the Legislative Assembly and a national level sportsman yet not knowing how the funds were being given to him including the quantum of the funds given by his relatives to pursue his own sporting and political pursuits does not inspire confidence.

Sr. Advocate Kapil Sibal represented the applicant, while Advocate Rohit Tripathi appeared for the opposite party.

The ED had registered a case against the SBSP MLA, under Section 3 read with Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) after an ECIR was lodged based upon three FIRs relating to predicate offences.

The ED shed light on financial transactions allegedly orchestrated to usurp the government land in Mau and Ghazipur by resorting to forgery, cheating and criminal trespass. Based on the same, the Court noted that M/s. Vikas Construction, primarily operated by Masood Alam and associates had transformed into a conduit for illicit gains. The court revealed that Mukhtar Ansari, the father of the applicant, purportedly seized control of the firm in 2012, replacing original partners with family members.

The construction firm, allegedly coerced into securing public contracts, consistently won bids, funneling funds into its coffers. Loans from public banks were obtained under dubious pretenses, with substantial rents from warehousing contracts and NABARD subsidies bolstering the operation.

The Court explained that the offence of money laundering as per Section 3 of the PMLA not only related to the generation of such proceeds of crime but also included any activity directly or indirectly relating to concealment or possession or acquisition or use amongst others.

Merely to state that whenever he needed funds, he would inform his mother and his maternal uncle and maternal grand father and they would arrange for the funds which were received and the applicant did not know anything beyond that,” the Court remarked.

Considering the evidence on record, including the flow charts clearly demonstrating the origin of funds, their transfer into the applicant's accounts, and their subsequent utilization by the applicant, the Court concluded that there is sufficient material linking the applicant with the movement and trail of funds to and from the two firms.

Accordingly, the High Court rejected the bail application.

Cause Title: Abbas Ansari v. Directorate Of Enforcement (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC-LKO:35793)


Applicant: Sr. Advocate Kapil Sibal; Advocates Pranjal Krishna, Mirza Shariq Aziz and Purnendu Chakravarty

Opposite Party: Advocate Rohit Tripathi

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