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     New Delhi, April 08, 2024: In a severe setback to the ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh, the Supreme Court today quashed the money laundering case of the alleged Rs 2,000 crore liquor scam in Chhattisgarh, saying there were no proceeds of crime.

     A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan quashed the complaint after noting that since no ex-facie scheduled offence (main offence) exists against them, no offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was made out, media reports said.

     “As there is no scheduled offence, there cannot be any proceeds of crime as defined under clause 2(u) of the PMLA. If there is no proceeds of crime, the offence under PMLA is not made out,” the bench ruled.

     The case arises out of the alleged ₹2,000 crore liquor syndicate racket in the State during the Chief Ministership Bhupesh Baghel of Congress and BJP used that as a political weapon in the last Assembly election to unseat the Congress.

     According to Live Law the Supreme Court quashed the money laundering case while noting that the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was based on an alleged conspiracy (Section 120B IPC) to commit an Income Tax Act offence, which is not a scheduled offence as per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

     Since there is no predicate offence, there are no proceeds of crime. Therefore, there can’t be a money laundering offence, the Court observed, said Live Law.

     The bench was hearing the writ petitions filed by a controversial retired IAS Anil Tuteja, his son Yash, Karishma Dhebar, Anwar Dhebar, Arun Pati Tripathi and Siddharth Singhania.

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