New Delhi: A sessions court on Saturday accepted the plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking open-ended non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against Sandesaras. This will help the agency secure an Interpol red-corner notice (RCN) of lookout for the promoters of the Sterling Group.

The legal development has serious political implications as Congress veteran Ahmed Patel’s son-in-law Faisal Patel had earlier made news for allegedly accepting cash from these dubious businessmen who are being probed for tax evasion, defaulting on bank loans and money laundering. The scandal had come to light when Sunil Yadav, an employee of the group, had deposed before the ED that Chetan Sandesara and Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan used to visit the Faisal Patel’s house, with bags full of cash.

The ED, through its counsel Nitesh Rana, had recently moved Delhi's Patiala Court for the NBWs against the four Sterling Group promoters in connection with an alleged Rs 5,000 crore bank loan fraud case.

Additional Session Judge Satish Kumar Arora today heard the application, allowing the NBWs.

The ED is in the process of securing the RCNs against key directors of Sterling: Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara, and Hitesh Patel.

Earlier, although the court had issued NBWs against the four accused, the warrants could not be served despite the efforts of the ED because the accused had been absconding.

On December 6, the adjudicating authority made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had confirmed that assets of the dubious businessmen worth Rs 4,700 crore had been attached by the ED. These included movable and immovable properties of Sterling Biotech Ltd spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Delhi.

The ED had previously moved the special PMLA Court in Delhi and filed the complaint under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against four persons, namely, Nitin Sandesara, Chetan Sandesara, Dipti Sandesara, and Hitesh Patel.

All the four accused are promoters of the Sterling Group who fled the country to allegedly avoid a criminal investigation. ED has sought to confiscate their properties in India and abroad.