You are here : Home » Legal
Posted On : 16 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
Sanction accorded to prosecute BSP MLC: Centre to SC
The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it has accorded sanction to prosecute BSP MLC in Uttar Pradesh Mohammad Iqbal, accused of laundering money by creating a maze of over hundred shell companies.

The government placed the sanction order before a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud which expressed its satisfaction after perusing it.

"A copy of the sanction order was handed over to us in court today. Having perused the same, we have returned it to the additional solicitor general... We are satisfied that nothing further survives in this petition and the same is accordingly disposed of," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh told the court that the government has sanctioned prosecution against Iqbal in the case.

The court had on July 31 asked the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to take a decision on granting or denying sanction to prosecute the MLC.

After perusing the status reports of agencies like the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the court had said it was apparent from the reports that various companies had been set up.

Rajeshwar Singh, a joint director in the ED, who had earlier appeared before the court, had told the bench that the agency could not prosecute Iqbal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act unless the CBI or the SFIO registered a case against Iqbal, a member of the legislative council (MLC).

The ASG, who was appearing for various probe agencies, had submitted that reports have disclosed that 111 shell companies have been used to launder money and the ED could proceed if other agencies lodged the FIR for substantial offence.

The money laundering case pertained to the crime proceeds and hence, an FIR for substantive offence was required to be lodged first, the ED had said.

The apex court had on August 8 last year perused the probe reports of the SFIO, the ED and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on a complaint against the BSP leader.

It had then asked the CBI to "look into the complaints filed by petitioner (Ranvir Singh) in the light of the reports submitted by the ED and the CBDT. In that view, we expect the CBI to examine the matter at an appropriate level for such action as may be considered necessary in accordance with law".

The apex court had also said that probe by other central agencies prima facie suggested that shell companies associated with Iqbal were purportedly indulging in money laundering.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by another UP leader Ranvir Singh, who has accused Iqbal of indulging in money laundering. His counsel had alleged that the CBI has not taken any action on the complaint.

The BSP MLC had said that there was bias in the probe and the person coming to the apex court himself has three criminal cases against him.

Iqbal had said that he had nothing to do with the family businesses while referring to the report of the Saharanpur district magistrate and had added that he has been dragged to this court.

The Centre had earlier said the probe conducted so far has indicated that there was some nexus with the alleged activities of ex-Uttar Pradesh Minister Babu Singh Khushwaha, an accused in NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) scam, and the companies attached to the MLC.

The petition has accused the MLC of indulging in money laundering and other criminal activities.