Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on Saturday denied bail to Nagpur-based lawyer Satish Uke and his brother in connection with a money laundering case by stating that both have deep rooted involvement in the offence alleged against them.
The duo’s bail plea was rejected by special PMLA judge MG Deshpande.
The Uke brothers were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in April this year under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of two FIRs filed by Ajni police in Nagpur in connection with the purchase of a 1.5 acre plot allegedly on the basis of forged documents.
From the investigation conducted so far, it became evident Satish Uke and Pradip Uke resorted to fraud and forgery and created fake POA (power of attorney) in the name of Chandrashekhar Namdevrao Matte and Khairunisa and usurped lands from the original owners illegally, the ED had said at the time of their arrest.
In their bail applications, the siblings had contended no prima-facie case was made out against them under the PML Act as there was no involvement of proceeds of crime or illegal/black money.
The plea also accused the ED of suppressing material facts and documents, not following laid down procedures of arrest.
However, the court noted that various documents and statements recorded under the provisions of PMLA, prima-facie, indicate that a forged and fake power of attorney was created by both accused.
On the basis of these, properties were acquired illegally and further sold for cash, the court said, adding that Satish Uke had admitted to acceptance of cash in his statement.
Based on documents placed on record, the special judge said the two accused not only cheated plot buyers but also the competent government authority by preparing fake orders with forged signatures.
The two accused usurped land with the help of fake and forged documents and later sold them by accepting cash, which amounts to generation of proceeds of crime, the court said.
Both accused have very wisely left almost no evidence of any monetary transaction to find out the trail, it said.
The court, in its order, said there is abundant material relating to scheduled offence as well as the case under the PML Act, which prima-facie points out deep rooted involvement of the duo in both the cases.
The judge noted that, prima-facie, the investigation is “genuine” and not tainted, unfair or biased as contended by both the accused.
“I do not find that the PMLA case against both accused is manifestly instituted with an ulterior, oblique motive, for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite them due to private and personal grudge. Both accused have deep rooted involvement in the offence alleged against them under PML Act, which has fine connection with the activity relating to the predicate offence,” the court observed.
The judge said the duo are influential persons and there is every possibility they will seriously damage the ED’s case if released on bail.
Satish Uke, incidentally, has filed several petitions in courts against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
One of his applications sought criminal proceedings against Fadnavis for “non-disclosure” of criminal cases in the latter’s poll affidavit.
He had also petitioned the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court seeking a police probe into the “suspicious and untimely” death of CBI judge B H Loya.