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NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has taken cognizance of a charge sheet filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) against journalist Upendra Rai in a money laundering case which alleges that he projected properties generated through "blackmail" and "extortion" as untainted.

Additional Sessions Judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha took on record the prosecution complaint, ED's equivalent to a charge sheet, filed by special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, and posted the matter for August 20 for the scrutiny of documents.

The Delhi-based journalist was arrested by the agency for the alleged offence of money laundering, punishable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The court also directed the ED to hand over a copy of the charge sheet and other documents filed along with it to Rai, which was complied by the agency.

In its charge sheet filed through advocate A R Aditya on August 6, the agency said that Rai was a journalist who crafted leverage out of his access to government offices as a media person.

The agency alleged that Rai took undue advantage of his connections with several government officials to gain access to confidential information available with them about the penal proceedings being contemplated against various defaulters, at times in advance.

After having received references from his connections in government agencies in respect of different prospective entities, Rai would get friendly with them and gather confidential information to finally blackmail them to extort money, the charge sheet said.

Subsequently, Rai would force his targeted victims to execute a sham consultancy agreement with him to legitimise and project the proceeds of his crime or properties involved in money laundering as untainted money, the ED alleged.

He was arrested on June 8 by the ED under the PMLA at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

The ED had registered a money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.




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