A Delhi court has said that Pearls Group CMD Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, who is hospitalised in Punjab, need not be produced before it tomorrow in a case of alleged swindling of Rs 45,000 crore from over five crore investors to avoid the “unnecessary expense” of travel by a cardiac life- support ambulance.
The court’s order came as it disposed Bhangoo’s plea seeking either the cancellation of his production warrant or provision of an air ambulance due to his severe medical condition.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Aggarwal said in case Bhangoo is discharged from the hospital in Mohali before September 8, the next date of hearing, he should be produced in the court subject to the permission of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had granted him bail in another criminal case.
“If, however, the accused for any reason continues to remain in hospital till September 8, he need not be produced before this court on September 8 to avoid burdening the state with unnecessary expense to be borne by them in the travelling of the accused by advance cardiac life support ambulance as the case is in scrutiny,” the court said.
It directed the hospital to send a report by tomorrow on the probable date of discharge of the accused and his medical condition to enable the court re-assess the circumstances and pass order to secure his presence in the case. Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Bhangoo, sought cancellation of the production warrant issued against his client earlier, saying he was in a hospital and not in a position to appear in court and the high court had ordered in June this year that the accused shall not be taken in custody by any other agency without its permission.
Bhangoo is in judicial custody in the cheating case lodged by CBI which has filed a charge sheet against him, his firms Pearl Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL), Pearls Golden Forest Ltd (PGF), and its promoters and directors Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Subrata Bhattacharya under various sections of the IPC and the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.
The four accused persons, arrested on January 8 after two years of CBI probe ordered by the Supreme Court in the country’s largest reported ponzi scam, are presently in judicial custody.