The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it was inclined to grant bail while hearing petitions filed by former CMD of IDBI Bank Yogesh Aggarwal and deputy managing director B K Batra in a matter relating to an IDBI loan default case relating to Kingfisher. The final order in the matter is likely to be given sometime this week. Justice S S Jadhav while hearing argument by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter said: “No one will question your endeavor to investigate. But what is suspicious is the manner in which they were taken into custody.”
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On February 11, a special CBI court had rejected Aggarwal and Batra’s bail after the CBI argued that it needed to conduct “further probe” into the case. However, the two approached high court saying that in the 40 days since their arrest, the CBI had not called them for questioning and they couldn’t be kept in judicial custody indefinitely considering the CBI had filed a charge sheet in the matter
With additional solicitor general Anil Singh arguing that the disbursement of the loan was done without following mandatory norms, the high court said that it was presently only on the point of custody. “On the contention that fraud was committed, the court is with you already,” said the court.
Both of them were arrested along with seven others by the CBI on January 23, just a day before the agency filed its chargesheet in the case.
Asking how many days the CBI proposes to keep them in incarceration, Justice Jadhav said, “You don’t know how many days you will take for further investigation. They have already been in jail for approximately 50 days.”
Singh said that the CBI required time to record statements of other bank officials and persons related to the case.
The court then asked if the same could not have done earlier. “We just want to see if this would amount to punitive detention?” asked the court. The court asked the CBI by when it could complete further investigations and whether it was possible for it to give any time-limit.
Singh said that it would take the agency three to four months. “There cannot be any outer limit,” pointed out the court. Appearing for Yogesh Aggarwal, senior counsel Ashok Mundargi said that the loan which was disbursed in 2009-10 was approved by a board of directors which had government nominees as well. He further said allegations relating to the loan being given without any collateral was wrong. “There is no clarity on whether further investigations is pending against both the applicants,” Mundargi said.
Meanwhile, advocate Abad Ponda appearing for Batra said that CVC had given him a clean chit in November 2010. Moreover, he was promoted in January 2012. The high court had earlier come down heavily on CBI stating that the investigating agency failed to follow legal mandates in arresting.