Delhi court extends interim bail to Robert Vadra till March 2, ED alleges non-cooperation

A Delhi court Saturday extended the interim bail granted to Robert Vadra till March 2 in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) even as the agency claimed that he was not cooperating in the matter.

Special judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The court also extended the protection from arrest granted to his close aide and a co-accused in the case, Manoj Arora, till the next date of hearing i.e. March 2.

The ED told the court that it needed to question Vadra in the case and opposed his anticipatory bail plea, saying that he was not cooperating in the case.

“Vadra is not cooperating and giving evasive replies,” Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh and advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, said.

The businessman, represented through senior advocate KTS Tulsi, however, denied the charge and said he was ready to come for questioning as and when called.

Singh told the court Vadra is accompanied by a ‘baraat’ (procession) wherever he goes, whether to the agency’s office or to the court.

“There are some people who always come with a ‘baraat’, Vadra is one of them,” Singh, said, adding that by ‘baraat’, he was referring to the media.

The lawyer alleged that Vadra was using social media, including Facebook, for writing about the case and highlighting the matter.

Vadra had filed an anticipatory bail application in the case linked to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth GBP 1.9 million. The property is allegedly owned by him.

The agency had earlier said it has received information about various new properties in London which belongs to Vadra, including two houses of five and four million pounds, each, six other flats and more properties.

In his anticipatory bail plea, Vadra had said he was being subjected to “unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution which on the face of it is completely politically motivated and is being carried out for reasons other than those prescribed under law”.

The plea had said Vadra’s office was raided by ED on December 7, 2018 and therefore, he seriously apprehends that his liberty may be curtailed by the investigating agency.

“The petitioner (Vadra) is being subjected to a farce criminal prosecution which actually is beset with nothing else except political vendetta and most unfortunately the respondent (ED) being the law enforcement agency is a party to the unethical and illegal exercise.

“It is stated that the petitioner’s (Vadra’s) firm through its authorised representative Manoj Arora has already joined investigation with the ED conducting investigation into the affairs of the firm in Rajasthan with their offices at Jaipur on many occasions and has supplied all the relevant documents to the satisfaction of the officials of the ED,” the plea had said.

Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter’s overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds, the ED had alleged.

Vadra had alleged that he is being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.

“It is stated the the petitioner has highest regard for the due process of law and is always willing to cooperate with the investigation in the highly charged political atmosphere and political contours of the present investigation, he seriously apprehends arrest by the investigating authorities and in such circumstances, the petitioner by means of the present petition is also praying that while he is willing to join investigation with the ED authorities,” his plea read.

Arora had alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of “political vendetta”.

However, the ED had refuted the allegations, asking that “should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?”

The agency had told the court that it lodged the money laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It had alleged that the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation.

“This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property,” the ED had told the court.

Supreme Court refuses interim bail to principal of BRD Medical College Gorakhpur

The Supreme Court today refused to grant interim bail to a former principal of a medical college and hospital in Uttar Pradesh where scores of children had died last year allegedly due to shortage of oxygen supply.

Dr Rajeev Kumar Mishra of Gorakhpur’s BRD medical college and hospital told the top court that he has been in jail for more than ten months and the children had died due to Japanese Encephalitis disease and not for shortage of oxygen.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government on the plea of Mishra and listed the matter for June 6.

More than 60 children, mostly infants, had died at the government-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur within a week in August 2017. There were allegations that the deaths occurred due to disruption in oxygen supply over unpaid bills to the vendor.

At the outset, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mishra, said he was arrested on August 29, 2017 and has remained in jail for over ten months.

“Chargesheet has been filed in the case. The co-accused in the case including one doctor Kafeel Khan, who was the head of the Encephalitis ward, and the Oxygen gas supplier Manish Bhandari have already got bail. I should be granted at least interim bail till the petition is disposed of,” Rohatgi said.

When the bench asked him what was in the chargesheet filed against his client, the senior lawyer said it has been alleged that Mishra had not cleared the bills for supply of oxygen, due to which the gas supply to the hospital was cut.

To this, the bench said, “then what do you expect, that you will not clear the bills and the vendor will keep supplying the gas”.

Rohatgi said “oxygen gas was not the issue, as the children had died due to a disease called Japanese encephalitis”.

He said at least interim bail should be granted till the petition is disposed of as over ten months have gone by.

The bench, however, refused the plea and sought response from the state government.

Mishra had approached the apex court challenging the order of Allahabad High Court dated April 30, by which it had denied bail to him. He has been booked for criminal negligence and offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The state government had told the High Court that due to the alleged role of Misra, the oxygen supply got halted in the hospital as he had stopped payments to the supplier to allegedly force the company to pay him kickbacks.

On April 9, the top court had granted bail to the proprietor of a firm which supplied oxygen to the hospital saying he had spent seven months in jail for an offence which entailed maximum punishment of three years imprisonment.

Interim bail to 5 fresh accused in coal case

Interim bail to 5 fresh accused in coal case
Interim bail to 5 fresh accused in coal case

A special court here today granted interim bail till May 4 to five fresh accused named by the CBI in its supplementary charge sheet in a coal scam case against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal and others.

Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar granted the interim bail to accused- Jindal Steel’s adviser Anand Goel, Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra, Nihar Stocks Ltd Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo – on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount each.

The case pertains to allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

During the hearing, the CBI opposed the regular bail plea of two of the five accused persons – Goel and Maroo – alleging that they tried to hamper the investigation and threatened witness Suresh Singhal in the case.

The court has now put up the matter for hearing on whether to grant regular bail to these accused in the light of CBI’s fresh allegations after counsel for both the accused sought time to argue on this point, saying they were not supplied with related documents in the case.

It will also hear regular bail pleas of Madra, Aggarwal and Suryanarayan which were not opposed by the CBI.

The names of these five persons were revealed by Singhal, a chartered accountant, who was earlier chargesheeted by the CBI as accused in the case.

The court had summoned the five new persons as accused after taking cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI on March 24.

Besides Jindal, the case also involves former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda.

The court had earlier directed the agency to expeditiously file its further probe report.

CBI had alleged that Koda had favoured Jindal group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL) — in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

All the accused had denied the allegations levelled against them and said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process.

( Source – PTI )

TMC MP Kunal Ghosh’s interim bail extended

TMC MP Kunal Ghosh's interim bail extended
TMC MP Kunal Ghosh’s interim bail extended

The Calcutta High Court today extended interim bail to suspended Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh in connection with cases over his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

A division bench comprising justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee extended bail Ghosh till January 10, 2017, while fixing the next date for hearing on January six next.

The bench had set free Ghosh on interim bail on October five following his incarceration for more than two years in connection with criminal cases lodged against him.

The bench had granted bail to Ghosh, who headed the Saradha Group’s media business, on two sureties of Rs one lakh each.

Ghosh was arrested on November 23, 2013 by Bidhannagar Police after the Saradha scam broke out in April that year.

Ghosh was suspended by the Trinamool Congress in September, 2013, which had given him the Rajya Sabha ticket, for anti-party activities after he had started making allegations of involvement of some party leaders in the scam.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April, 2012.

( Source – PTI )

Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh’s interim bail extended

kunal-ghoshThe Calcutta High Court today extended till December 23 the interim bail given to Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, an accused in the multi-crore Saradha scam.

A division bench comprising justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee extended bail to Ghosh, who was granted interim bail by this court on October five.

The division bench had granted interim bail till November 11 to Ghosh, suspended by Trinamool Congress for alleged anti-party activities, after more than two years in custody following his arrest by CBI.

Ghosh, who headed the Saradha Group’s media business, was released on a bail bond of Rs two lakh, which were to be of two sureties of Rs one lakh each.

The bench had directed that Ghosh would not leave the jurisdiction of Narkeldanga Police Station in the metropolis except for attending court proceedings or meeting the investigating officers.

It had further directed Ghosh to meet the investigating officer once a week and if necessary, CBI shall have liberty to call him to its office for the purpose of investigation.

Ghosh’s counsel claimed that he had been in custody for over two years and 10 months counting his total days in custody since his arrest by West Bengal Police in connection with other related cases of Saradha scam.

He has been charged under IPC Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by merchant or agent), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120B (conspiracy), besides relevant sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Act, 1978.

Ghosh, a former editor of a vernacular daily, had become the CEO of Saradha Media, an arm of the Saradha Group owned by Sudipta Sen.

Ghosh was arrested on November 23, 2013 by Bidhannagar Police after the Saradha scam broke out in April that year.

He was suspended by the Trinamool Congress in September, 2013, which had given him the Rajya Sabha ticket, for anti-party activities after he had started making allegations of involvement of some party leaders in the scam.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April, 2012.

Ponty case: Accused gets two months interim bail

Narender Ahlawat, Delhi High Court, interim bail,  murder case of Ponty Chadha, Ponty Chadha murder case, Hardeep, humanitarian ground,  psychological health of Ahlawat, neurological health of Ahlawat, Namdhari, Sachin Tyagi, charges of murder, cases under the Arms Act,

Narender Ahlawat has been granted two months interim bail by the Delhi High Court here in New Delhi.

Ahlawat was the main accused in the murder case of Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep on “humanitarian ground”

He worked for Ponty Chadha as a manager, was released on interim bail by Additional Sessions Judge V K Yadav saying “he deserves indulgence on “humanitarian ground” as he is wheelchair-bound, and therefore needs “proper medical treatment”.

The judge also imposed certain conditions which include that Ahlawat will not influence witnesses in any manner or leave Delhi without the court’s permission.

“… Keeping in view the medical condition of the applicant (Ahlawat), which reflects as per the latest report from jail hospital that instead of recovery the complications are increasing and affecting the psychological and neurological health of Ahlawat…

“… Ahlawat is still on the wheelchair, unable to move… Thus Ahlawat apparently deserves indulgence at least on this count. As such, looking at all these facts and on humanitarian ground, he seems to deserve proper medical treatment and to facilitate it, he is admitted to interim bail, for getting himself treated at hospital of his choice, on furnishing personal bond and two surety bonds in the sum of Rs 50,000 each for two months,” according to the judge.

Ponty Chadha and Hardeep, who had an alleged property dispute, were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse in south Delhi on November 17, last year. Twenty-two people, including sacked Uttarakhand minority panel chief S S Namdhari have been named in the charge sheet filed in the case.

Namdhari and his PSO Sachin Tyagi face charges of murder, attempt to murder and other offences under the IPC besides cases under the Arms Act. Ponty has also been named as an accused in the charge sheet.

Ahlawat, in jail since February 14, had sought bail saying there is nothing against him which may connect with the offence in any manner.

“He was merely an employee of Ponty and was unfortunately present at the spot,” advocate K K Manan argued, adding that the accused was not part of any conspiracy as he could not have been beneficiary in any manner.

Taking note of the defence counsel’s submissions, the judge observed that on a perusal of the record, it appears that the presence of the applicant at the spot is beyond any doubt.

Former Andhra Pradesh Minister Mopidevi granted interim bail

Bail to former Andhra Pradesh Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao has been granted by a special CBI court, Mopidevi is an accused in disproportionate assets case involving YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, to enable him to go on Sabarimala pilgrimage.

The court allowed Mopidevi an interim bail for 10-days from December 24 to January 2 to enable him to visit Sabarimala for darshan of Lord Ayyappa at his own expenses along with an escort consisting of one CBI constable.

Mopidevi, who is under judicial remand and lodged in Chanchalguda jail since his arrest by CBI on May 24, had earlier moved the court stating he was in Ayyappa Diksha and required to go to Sabarimala for darshan of Lord Ayyappa.

An ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa has submitted the petition and visiting Sabarimala since 1995 and requested the court to grant him an interim bail to visit Sabarimala and other religious places en route.

The court while further directing Mopidevi to surrender before it on January 3, asked him to submit two sureties of Rs 25,000 each towards the interim bail.

He was also told not to meddle with investigation, not to threaten, induce or make any promise to any person related to the case.

The CBI had earlier alleged Mopidevi, Minister for Infrastructure and Investments during YSR regime, approved the Cabinet memorandum containing proposals for awarding of a construction project by withholding important aspects related to it such as total extent of land required for the project.

However, the former minister had contended he was falsely implicated in the case and entire processing of the files were done in routine course of business of the Ministry and he dealt with transactions in a bona-fide manner in line with approvals by the then Chief Minister (late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy) and the Cabinet.

According to CBI, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, a promoter of the project, got nearly 24,000 acres of land sanctioned by AP government for the project as quid-pro-quo for investments made by him in Jagan’s businesses when late Y S Reddy was the Chief Minister.

Six ex-judges get interim bail in PF scam

A CBI special court in Ghaziabad Monday granted interim bail to six accused former judges in a scam involving misappropriation of funds in the provident fund (PF) accounts of class III and IV employees of the Ghaziabad district courts.

 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge A.K. Singh granted interim bail to the accused on Rs.one lakh personal bond each.

A sum of Rs.6.58 crore is alleged to have been fraudulently withdrawn from the PF accounts between 2001 and 2007.

 The case will be heard next March 31.