A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Friday granted bail to Kapil Wadhawan, the chairman and managing director of Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), who was arrested in a money laundering case involving deceased gangster Iqbal Mirchi.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Wadhawan (46) on January 27 alleging that he was instrumental in laundering of huge amounts of money as part of an illegal deal with Mirchi, who died in London in 2013.
The court, however, put some conditions while releasing Wadhawan on bail. While it asked Wadhawan to pay a cash bond of Rs 5 lakh, it also directed that he must visit the ED office as and when summoned. Special Judge Prashant Rajvaidya further directed Wadhawan to surrender his passport to the investigation officer and prohibited from leaving the country without the court’s permission.
Wadhawan had filed a bail plea before the special PMLA court judge P Rajvaidya earlier this month. Senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Wadhawan, submitted that transactions of DHFL, which ED had cited for his arrest, had no connection with Mirchi’s dealings.
The ED, however, opposed the bail plea on the ground that Wadhawan might influence the probe. It also argued that three properties in Worli, belonging to Mirchi, are proceeds of crime. The agency claimed that Dheeraj Wadhawan, also a promoter of DHFL, expressed interest in buying the properties. After meetings with Mirchi, it was decided that the properties would be bought through one of Wadhawan companies, Sunblink.
An amount of Rs 111 crore paid towards the deal was arranged as a loan from DHFL to Sunblink, which was shown to be later repaid through a loan from RKW Developers, the ED alleged.
The agency claimed irregularities in these loans, alleging that none of the prescribed policies to grant loans were followed by DHFL, a non-banking financial company. It claimed that another Rs 1,500-crore loan was shown to be given to five companies, all of which are allegedly shell companies.
The ED is likely to move the Bombay High Court seeking cancellation of Wadhawan’s bail next week.
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