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City Co-operative Bank ‘fraud’: Bombay HC refuses pre-arrest bail to Anandrao Adsul

Adsul had said in his plea that the trial court’s order was arbitrary and that he was summoned again in September but could not attend due to an angioplasty surgery he had to undergo.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 3, 2021 2:35:03 pm
File photo of former Union Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul.

The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of former Union Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul in a money laundering case worth Rs 980 crore at City Co-operative Bank.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Nitin W Sambre passed the judgment following a plea by Adsul against the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court order refusing relief to him.

The High Court, on October 14, had rejected a plea by Adsul challenging the case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The court had granted liberty to Adsul to move an anticipatory bail plea seeking relief from coercive action, including arrest.

Adsul had sought quashing of the proceedings against him and challenged the summons issued. Thereafter, Adsul moved the special PMLA Court seeking a pre-arrest bail.

The trial court, while rejecting interim relief to Adsul, had held that prima facie evidence against him was found to be substantial and satisfactory.

The ED had conducted searches last month at the premises of Adsul. The ED probe in the case is based on a complaint filed by Adsul, the former chairman of the bank, with the Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police.

Alleging misappropriation of funds by bank officials, Adsul had claimed that loans were doled out to entities and individuals at very low or no collateral. The ED is now probing the role of Adsul and his son Abhijeet, a director at the board of the bank, as it has allegedly been found that the Sena leader was a beneficiary of some of these loans given out by the bank.

Adsul was named as chairman of the bank in 2006. An RBI audit in 2014-15 had allegedly revealed anomalies and irregularities in loan disbursements. The EOW had started a probe and an FIR was registered in 2020 on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy. The ED had summoned Adsul in February to record his statement.

Adsul had said in his plea that the trial court’s order was arbitrary and that he was summoned again in September but could not attend due to an angioplasty surgery he had to undergo.

The plea added that the ED had not given any documents to him to specify as to why he was summoned. The 74-year-old had alleged that it was a means to harass him as he had nothing to do with the alleged irregularities and was cooperating with the probe.

However, ED opposed Adsul’s plea and said that it had substantial evidence against him, which it produced before the court in a sealed cover.

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