The Bombay High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation for its (CBI) handling of the IDBI loan default case relating to Kingfisher while reserving its order in a bail matter relating to two IDBI employees.
Justice, S S Jadhav was hearing the bail applications filed by former CMD of IDBI Bank, Yogesh Aggarwal, and IDBI deputy managing director, B K Batra who were arrested along with seven others by the CBI on January 23, just a day before the agency filed its chargesheet in the case.
Justice Jadhav while asking the CBI to justify seeking the “continued presence of the accused” on the mere ground that further probe was on said that the investigating agency failed to follow legal mandates in arresting and in dealing with the other accused persons in the matter besides allowing the main accused (Vijay Mallya, former KFA chairperson) to escape. She also questioned the manner of the arrest of the two IDBI employees, observing that the CBI had not sought their custody even once during its initial probe and had instead chosen to “pick them up” just a day before filing its chargesheet, without giving them any notice.
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“The present case is a white collared one and there is no question of tampering with evidence since all the evidence is already under the CBI’s custody. But even if the court was to assume that the accused were hardened criminals, the CBI must justify under what provision of law can it seek to keep them in jail,” said the court.
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 chargesheet in the matter.
The CBI however, opposed the bail pleas saying that the accused were senior officials of IDBI who could easily access some crucial documents that were still lying with the bank. The court has now reserved its orders and is likely to pass the same on March 14.