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Monday, October 18, 2021

DHFL money-laundering case: Bombay HC refuses bail to Rana Kapoor’s wife, daughters & ex-business head

The court observed, “Such offences are occurring in plenty and have resulted in stultifying overall growth of the nation and also have caused tremendous impairment to the economy of the nation.”

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: September 28, 2021 6:05:36 pm
Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor being taken to a court after being arrested by Enforcement Directorate under money laundering charges, in Mumbai. (Express file photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Tuesday refused bail to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor’s wife and two daughters booked in connection with the alleged multi-crore fraud in the DHFL money-laundering case. The court also denied bail to the former business head of Yes Bank Rajiv Anand.

A single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre was hearing pleas by Kapoor’s wife Bindu and daughters Roshini and Radha Kapoor-Khanna. The three had challenged a special CBI court order rejecting their bail pleas. The court had reserved its verdict on September 23.

A special court had on September 18 rejected the bail applications of the three, who were named as accused in the DHFL case but were not initially arrested during the probe. The court had sent them to judicial custody till September 23, which was later extended till October 1.

Rana Kapoor was arrested on March 8 last year by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in another case related to alleged kickbacks received by him in lieu of loans given to infrastructure company DHFL.

In their bail pleas before the High Court filed through advocate Archit Jaykar, the applicants claimed that the special court “grossly erred” in observing that accusations against the applicants prima facie showed complicity with other co-accused in having fraudulently and dishonestly receiving loans as quid pro quo for favours shown by Yes Bank to DHFL.

The applicants pointed out that they had extended full cooperation to the probe agency and claimed that they had no involvement in alleged transactions and did not have any role in Yes Bank or its day-to-day affairs.

Senior counsels Amit Desai and Mahesh Jethmalani representing the three women and senior advocate Aabad Ponda representing Rajiv Anand, had argued that the accused could be sent to custody only in special circumstances when the court thinks they will abscond, however, the same was not the case, therefore they should be released on bail.

Radha Kapoor, mother of two children, one of them being an infant, claimed that her “sudden and unjustifiable incarceration” is likely to cause “inexcusable and unspeakable damage” to physical and mental wellbeing of her young ones.

Advocate Hiten S Venegaonkar representing CBI opposed the pleas and said that the CBI court was merely securing the presence of the accused for the purpose of trial and therefore, the accused were remanded to judicial custody.

The CBI further stated that if released on bail, they may abscond from the country and influence witnesses. The central agency also said that the three were directors of companies linked to the alleged fraud and are “influential and affluent persons” and probable witnesses are mostly employees of Yes Bank or companies linked to the accused or persons known to them.

Justice Dangre observed in the order, “It is apparent that all the applicants are alleged to have indulged in commission of offences, which have resulted in serious dent to the financial health of the state as well as defrauding the public at large. Such offences are occurring in plenty and have resulted in stultifying overall growth of the nation and also have caused tremendous impairment to the economy of the nation.”

The bench added, “These crimes are more heinous in nature as they intend to destroy the economic fabric and financial edifice of the state. They have the tendency to degrade and defy the faith of the public in a law and order situation as it tantamount to a serious blow to its economic/financial condition.”

Dismissing the plea, the bench said, “Dispensation of arrest at the stage of investigation need not continue throughout and in particular, when the offence made out against the applicants has now clearly emerged in the chargesheet as a grave economic offence and the witnesses, who will participate in the trial apparently surfacing, the applicants do not deserve their release on bail. All the applications, therefore, deserve a rejection and are accordingly rejected.”

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