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Relief for Chandrababu Naidu’s Aide YS Chowdary as Delhi HC Asks ED Not to Take Any Coercive Step

Chowdary had approached the HC seeking quashing of summons issued against him by ED. He was recently raided by the ED & Income-Tax department in connection with allegations of money laundering and financial irregularities.

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Updated:November 30, 2018, 2:59 PM IST
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Relief for Chandrababu Naidu’s Aide YS Chowdary as Delhi HC Asks ED Not to Take Any Coercive Step
File photo of TDP MP YS Chowdary with Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Enforcement Directorate not to take any coercive step against Telugu Desam Party MP Y S Chowdary.

Chowdary had approached the HC seeking quashing of summons issued against him by ED. He was recently raided by the ED & Income-Tax department in connection with allegations of money laundering and financial irregularities.

Chowdary won’t be arrested for now, the court asked the former Union minister to appear before ED on Monday.

The TDP leader has said he is being harassed due to political vendetta by the BJP government at the Centre. “The group I have mentored are law-abiding & fully compliant to all regulations. ED says the group defrauded banks to the tune of Rs 5700 crore. It’s not defrauding. It’s outstanding with banks,” he said

The ED has seized six high-end cars, including Ferrari, Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz, reportedly belonging to Chowdary and summoned him for questioning in connection with an alleged Rs 5,700 crore bank loan fraud case.

The agency said it took the action under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after it conducted searches at eight premises of the Sujana Group in Hyderabad and Delhi on Friday.

The ED said Chowdary, a sitting Rajya Sabha member of TDP, was the man behind the Sujana Group of companies and it has gathered evidence that "all directors of various Sujana Group of companies act under his instructions".

The agency said the high-end cars seized were registered in the name of dummy companies.

The TDP MP, considered close aide of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and party president N Chandrababu Naidu, has been summoned for questioning on November 27 in the case, it said.

Chowdary was a Minister of State (MoS) in the Union cabinet before Naidu quit the NDA early this year over the Centre's refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh

The ED said it raided the company (Sujana group) in pursuance of a bank fraud case of a Chennai based firm Ms Best and Crompton Engineering Projects Ltd (BCEPL).

Documents related to alleged shell firms, under the umbrella of the Sujana group, were recovered after raids were carried out against the Chennai firm, it said

"Verification conducted with the documents/records seized indicated that BCEPL along with other companies of Sujana group were functioning under the chairmanship of YS Chowdary, who is a sitting RS MP of TDP.

"Investigations revealed that all directors of various Sujana group companies act under the instructions of Chowdary which is evidenced by the email correspondences and communications recovered from the business/residential premises of the directors of BCEPL," the ED said in a statement.

It said that in "voluntary statements tendered under Section 50 of the PMLA, directors of BCEPL had stated Chowdary is the person responsible for the entire activities of Sujana group of companies and that they all have acted/rendered their signatures on the insistence Chowdary, either directly or through CFO and company secretary of Sujana group and that they are namesake directors and as such they had no idea as to how the funds of BCEPL were utilised and that the entire operations/transactions of Sujana Group of companies are known only to these key persons."

In light of these charges, the agency searched eight locations of the Sujana group on Friday which "revealed that the banks have been defrauded by the group companies to the tune of more than Rs 5,700 crore", the ED said.

Documents recovered indicate that the group was controlling over 120 companies and most of them are non-operating or existed on paper only (shell firms) without any genuine business activity, the agency said.

Preliminary statements indicate that certain loans to group companies were sanctioned against the personal guarantee of Chowdary, it added.​
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