THE BOMBAY High Court on Wednesday rejected the bail pleas of former DHFL promoters, Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, accused in the multicrore Yes Bank money laundering case. The court observed that the offences committed were pursuant to “conspiracy among accused” for “personal gain” and depositors and shareholders of Yes Bank were “real victims”.
A single judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal passed the order on the pleas made by the Wadhawan brothers. On March 7, the CBI registered a case against Kapil and Dheeraj, Rana Kapoor, the then managing director and chief executive officer of Yes Bank, and others in connection with an alleged multicrore scam. The CBI took custody of the Wadhawans from Satara in April.
Representing Kapil, senior advocate Amit Desai submitted before the High Court that the CBI did not comply with the procedure under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which lays down procedure for report of police officer on completion of investigation while submitting such a report to the special magistrate.
Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Dheeraj, submitted that statutory bail was a vital liberty and an indefeasible right. Singhvi said the chargesheet did not provide sufficient evidence to prove all alleged offences.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the CBI, opposed the pleas stating that all procedures and compliances were followed.
Justice Kotwal, who authored the 63-page order, “completely disagreed” with Singhvi’s submissions. He concurred with the CBI’s submissions, saying, “The offence was committed pursuant to the conspiracy among all the accused. The real victims were the depositors and shareholders, particularly of Yes Bank. That amount was not utilised for getting profit for Yes Bank, but it was used for personal gain of the accused. Thus, clearly offence of Section 409 of the IPC is made out.”
Justice Kotwal also noted that while the right to default bail for non-filing a police report within stipulated period is an “indefeasible right”, the courts cannot be too technical while entertaining an application for such default bail.
Rejecting the bail pleas, the HC said the special CBI court and magistrate were competent to remand custody to the Wadhawans even before taking cognizance of offence, and since the report was filed within stipulated time of 30 days, the right to seek default bail “never accrued in favour of the applicants”.
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