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THE BOMBAY High Court is likely to hear arguments on the bail application of Vipul Ambani, diamantaire Nirav Modi’s aide — an accused in the alleged Rs 13,400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case — on Thursday. He has sought bail on the ground of being allegedly illegally detained by the CBI. Ambani has been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC and under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act-1988. On Tuesday, senior counsel Amit Desai told the vacation bench that Ambani was called by the CBI for investigation on February 18. When he appeared before the agency at 7.30 pm, he was not asked any questions and was made to sit, he added.
After sometime, Ambani was allegedly asked to return the next day at 11 am. Accordingly, Ambani visited the CBI office the next day, but was not allowed to go home and was kept in the office through the night, Desai said. He added that after spending a whole day at the CBI office, Ambani was shown as arrested at 8.15 pm on February 20.
Ambani was not produced before a magistrate court within 24 hours, alleged Desai, adding that on February 21, he was produced before the special CBI court at 4.50 pm. Desai maintained that Ambani was arrested, illegally detained and kept in custody beyond the constitutionally mandated period of 24 hours and thereby, constitutional rights of the applicant have been violated.
While Ambani’s lawyers kept insisting that the court should hear the matter as soon as possible, the court said that it is difficult, as there are many matters to be heard during the week. Desai told court, “…it is a trend nowadays that litigants have to go to Supreme Court to get their matters expedited. Litigants shouldn’t be made to do that.”The court posted the matter for arguments on Thursday.