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Accused in money laundering case, Mukesh Mittal to contest for post of Chandigarh bar body president

Elections to the Bar Association are scheduled for December 4. Over 2,000 advocates will be voting in the elections to five posts of the executive body.

Mukesh Mittal Mukesh Mittal

Under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in multi-crore money laundering racket, advocate Mukesh Mittal is one of the three contestants for the post of president in the forthcoming Chandigarh District Bar Association elections.

Elections to the Bar Association are scheduled for December 4. Over 2,000 advocates will be voting in the elections to five posts of the executive body. Other than Mittal, advocates Jagdish Marwaha and Sunil Toni are also in the race for the post of president. There are a total of 14 contestants for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer.

ED had registered Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in the case on March 26, 2013, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. ED had later conducted searches on six premises, including that of advocate Mittal and his associates, on January 13 this year resulting in seizure of “highly incriminating documents” relating to several shell companies, including 214 blank signed cheques, records of several shell companies in his driver Lal Chand’s name with no business activities and heavy financial transactions. The trial of the case is pending with the Chandigarh district courts.

Two petitions related to the case are pending with the Punjab and Haryana High Court for final judgment. A public interest litigation seeks time-bound probe by the ED into the allegations against Justice Hemant Gupta of the high court, advocate Mukesh Mittal, his brother and Assistant Solicitor General of India Chetan Mittal, their family members and associates. The petitioners had alleged that Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Madan Mohan Mittal is real uncle of advocates Mukesh Mittal and Chetan Mittal and there is every possibility of interference in fair investigation because of highly influential persons. The high court had reserved its judgment in the case on October 12.

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Also, a bunch of petitions was filed by Ajay Singh, advocate Mukesh Mittal’s clerk and two others, challenging the case registered by the ED under the PMLA. The petitioners had reasoned that the offence under the PMLA has ceased to be cognisable with effect from July 1, 2005, thereby necessitating the sanction from the jurisdictional magistrate before embarking on any lawful investigation. The court had also reserved the judgment in this case on October 16.

Enrolled in 1987 as an advocate, Mukesh Mittal had been general secretary of the Bar Association in 1999 and was elected president in 2009. When contacted, he said, “I was unanimously elected as Bar president in 2009. Main items on my agenda are construction of multi-level parking, group insurance for advocates from LIC, facility of creche for kids of women advocates, welfare fund and monthly allowance for young advocates and chambers for advocates sitting in the open space.”

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 08:31:03 am
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