New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the order passed by the Punjab & Haryana High Court granting bail to former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to an illegal sand mining case.
Dismissing the special leave petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking cancellation of Honey’s bail, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta clarified that in case any predicate offence is revived or registered, it will be open to the central anti-money laundering agency to proceed in accordance with law.
“Though we have some reservations with the impugned order, as it appears that the order was passed without giving opportunity to the petitioner – Enforcement Directorate to file a reply, we are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order,” the bench said.
In July 2022, a bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan of the P&H High Court had allowed the application for bail saying that the accused qualifies the triple test under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Honey was arrested during the intervening night of February 3 and 4, 2022 by the ED. The ED twice got Honey’s custody and was he was later sent to judicial custody.
According to the charge sheet filed before a special Jalandhar court, Honey has confessed that it was his Rs 10 crore were recovered by the ED during raids. On March 7, 2018, an FIR against more than 10 people was lodged by the Punjab Police with its Rahon Police Station under sections 21(1), 4(1) of the Mines and Mineral Act read with sections 379, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC.
The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of this FIR pertaining to illegal sand mining in Punjab in November 2021.