The Enforcement Directorate on Friday told the Patiala House Court that it has evidence that a bribe was sent to the residence of former Congress President Sonia’s Gandhi’s aide and MP Ahmed Patel, NDTV reported. The investigating agency claimed it had a witness statement and “telephonic chats and financial transactions” to prove that Rs 25 lakh was sent to Patel’s official residence – 23, Mother Teresa Crescent.

Patel described the allegations as “baseless”, NDTV reported.

The agency made the allegations while appealing for custody of money laundering case accused Ranjit Malik. On July 18, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a chargesheet against the director of Gujarat-based pharmaceutical company Sterling Biotech in connection with alleged loan defaults worth Rs 5,383 crore.

The Enforcement Directorate said a witness named Rakesh Chandra claimed he delivered the money to Patel’s residence for Malik. The court extended Malik’s one-day custody by three days.

The case

On October 28, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a case against the company for defaulting on loans worth Rs 5,383 crore. The CBI has alleged that the company secured the loans from a consortium of banks led by the Andhra Bank, and these have now turned into non-performing assets.

The CBI has booked Sterling Biotech’s directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former director of Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified people.

The Enforcement Directorate also registered a money laundering case against the company and its promoters Nitin and Chetan Sandesara in October. The agency believes the promoters siphoned off most of the loans the company defaulted on.