New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday declared Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara and Hitesh Kumar Patel, directors of a Gujarat pharma firm named Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL), as fugitive economic offenders in connection with a case related to an alleged Rs 8,100 crore bank fraud case.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana, while allowing the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea, said that the court has no hesitation in observing that this court is satisfied that the ED has successfully pleaded and proved that the respondents herein are fugitive economic offenders.
"In view of the same, it is hereby declared that accused Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara and Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel are fugitive economic offenders," the court observed.
It further said that the ED may reapproach the court for initiation of confiscation proceedings, after applying for issuance of notice under Section 10 (2) of the Fugitive Economic Offender Act.
The ED had approached the court through advocate Nitesh Rana, under Section 4 read with Section 10 and Section 12 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 for declaration of the four accused as fugitive economic offenders and for the confiscation of their properties.
The economic offences watchdog had said that the accused had fled from the country and were evading the process of law to face criminal prosecution.
According to the ED, the accused manipulated figures in the balance sheets of their flagship companies and induced banks to sanction higher loans.
The court had earlier granted permission to the ED to send Letters Rogatory (LR) to 21 countries to seek assistance in the case. The ED had appraised the court that these LRs would be sent to the United Kingdom, UAE, China, USA, Panama, Republic of Albania and some other countries in connection with the Sterling Biotech bank loan fraud case.
The agency has alleged that the pharmaceutical group and its directors laundered money obtained from bank loans through shell companies and conducted circular transactions to artificially inflate turnover of the flagship companies. (ANI)