Mohali, October 27, 2023: As per media reports, the special court of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today framed charges against accused Sukhpal Khaira, Congress MLA from Bholath, and Gurdev Singh, his close aide, paving the way for their trial in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act case.
According to the news published in The Tribune, Khaira was arrested by the ED in 2021 on the charge of money laundering linked to the 2015 drugs case. He was granted bail in 2022. However, he was again arrested on September 28 from his Chandigarh residence on the basis of an investigation conducted by a SIT led by DIG Swapan Sharma in the drugs case.
The court dismissed the accused’s application for adjournment of the case as the charges had been read over to both accused. Both pleaded not guilty. The case will come up for hearing on November 17.
The court noted that the case had been pending since 2022 in the court and, on September 20, the court had dismissed Khaira’s application for discharge.
He”had claimed that he had no concern with Gurdev, who is an ex-member of the Dhilwan market committee in Bholath constituency.
Gurdev was also produced in the court, where he stated that he was convicted in 2017 but no proceeds were given by him to Khaira and he had not committed any offence.
On the other hand, the Special Public Prosecutor for the ED argued that there was specific allegation of Khaira being connected with Gurdev. He obtained the proceeds from the international drug syndicate to provide protection to Gurdev for smuggling of narcotic drug.
“There is prima facie a case against accused Sukhpal Khaira and Gurdev Singh. The submissions of the defence counsel and accused Gurdev hold no ground at this stage. This court will not affect the final adjudication of the case,” the order read.
The order stated that Gurdev had been implicated in an NDPS case in which he was convicted and sentenced.