Court reserves order on businessman Sana Satish Babu’s bail plea

A Delhi court will pronounce on August 17 its order on a bail plea of Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu, who is arrested in connection with a money-laundering case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bharadwaj reserved the order after hearing arguments in the matter.

Babu is currently in judicial custody. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the purported purchase of shares worth Rs 50 lakh of a company linked to Qureshi by Babu.

During the hearing of arguments on Saturday, the ED opposed the bail application saying the probe was still going on and the charge sheet was not filed in the case.

“If granted the relief, the accused may tamper with the evidence or influence the probe,” the cental probe agency said, adding that the accused may flee if released on bail.

In his bail application, Babu told the court that his custodial interrogation was already over and he was not required for further probe.

“No purpose will be served by keeping him (Babu) in further custody,” senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for Babu, told the court.

Babu was earlier called as a witness in the money-laundering case but was later made an accused.

He was arrested on July 26 under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the ED had said, adding that he was grilled for a few hours and taken into custody as he was “not cooperating” in the probe.

The CBI’s special probe team, under then Special Director Rakesh Asthana, had recommended Babu’s arrest in its own case against Qureshi and others.

However, in October last year, the Alok Kumar Verma-led agency registered a case of alleged corruption against Asthana and his subordinates, based on Babu’s complaint. Babu alleged that he had paid a bribe to get relief in the case.

Officials close to Asthana levelled similar allegations against Verma. The matter reached the Central Vigilance Commission, which initiated an inquiry into the charges and counter-charges.

Eventually, both Verma and Asthana were divested of their powers.

Court reserves order on Robert Vadra’s plea to travel abroad

New Delhi : A Delhi court Wednesday reserved for June 3 its order on application of Robert Vadra, accused in a money laundering case, to travel abroad.

Enforcement Directorate opposed the plea, in which Vadra sought permission to travel to the UK and other countries citing health reasons.

Vadra has told the court that as per Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, he has a “small tumour in the large intestine for the further management of which he can take a second opinion in London if he wishes so”.

The ED opposed the application, saying the medical condition was merely a pretext to go where laundered money is parked.

“We got an opinion based on his medical report… It’s a routine medical condition, that neither needs to be operated nor does it need medical treatment. It is not the case that the treatment is not available in India. The luxury of having a second opinion in a particular city should not be allowed,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, told the court.

“The probe is at a crucial stage. His custodial interrogation is required and he may flee if allowed to go abroad. He is facing serious charges,” he said.

The ED also told the court that Vadra was linked to alleged arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari who was in London.

“He may flee and not return. He may influence the probe and destroy the evidence. Bhandari fled from India and is currently in London. He is linked to Vadra in this very case. Vadra May destroy evidence if allowed to go abroad,” the agency told the court, adding that Vadra’s custodial interrogation was required.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar said he would pass the order on June 3 after hearing arguments from both the parties.

Vadra’s counsel, senior advocate KTS Tulsi, told the court that without any summon or warrant he returned to India from London as soon as he came to know about the matter, which shows he was not trying to flee.

According to the application, Vadra is scheduled to go to London, US, Netherlands and Dubai.

Vadra, facing investigation in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was directed on April 1 not to leave the country without prior permission by a court which had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing several other conditions.

Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, is facing allegations of money laundering in purchase of a property in London at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds.

Court reserves order on Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea

The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved its order on the anticipatory bail plea of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, wanted in connection with the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma.

Justice P.K. Bhasin reserved the order after counsel appearing for Kanda and Delhi Police concluded their arguments.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sidharth Luthra, appearing for police, sought Kanda’s custodial interrogation to find out the conspiracy between him and co-accused Aruna Chaddha, senior executive in Kanda’s group now under arrest.

Senior advocate K.T.S. Tusli, who represented Kanda, sought anticipatory bail for him and said suicide notes left behind by Geetika could not be taken as gospel truth.

“Suicide letters are written in anger and so any allegations can be levelled out of anger,” he said.

Luthra said Kanda’s questioning was needed to access his computers and laptops which were missingfrom his office.

Opposing Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea, the ASG said: “The conduct of not joining the investigation, removal of all electronic items, including his laptop and his computers from office, is a case for refusal of anticipatory bail.”

“We have a problem in investigation. When we went to Kanda’s office, there were no computers,” police counsel told the court.

The ASG urged the court to dismiss the anticipatory bail plea of Kanda as he had been absconding despite a notice served upon him to join the investigation.

He said that the investigation was at a preliminary stage and custodial interrogation was necessary.

Seeking anticipatory bail for Kanda, Tulsi said that some other evidence was required to hold Kanda responsible for Geetika’s suicide.

“I may be fond of her, she may be fond of me but that does not mean I incite her to commit suicide,” Kanda’s counsel said.

“The reasons given by the trial court while dismissing anticipatory bail were that there was misuse of power by me, I have given preferential treatment to Geetika and I exploited her, but these are not offences under offence of abetment for commission of suicide,” Tulsi said.

Geetika, who worked in Kanda’s group, was found hanging from the ceiling of her house here on the night of Aug 4-5.

She left behind two suicide notes, blaming Kanda and Chaddha for her suicide.

Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea was dismissed Aug 9 by a sessions court that said allegations against him were grave and serious and his bail plea had no merit.

The former Haryana minister was booked for abetment to Geetika’s suicide and criminal intimidation. He is yet to appear before Delhi Police for questioning.