A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai has granted bail to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and Avantha Realty promoter Gautam Thapar in connection with a case of fraud to the tune of Rs 307 crore. Judge MG Deshpande, while granting bail, directed that Kapoor and Thapar be released from prison upon furnishing bail bond of Rs 5 lakh each with one or two sureties of like amount.
Additional terms of the bail are that the duo have to attend every date of the trial scrupulously and that there should be no tampering of evidence collected by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Kapoor and Thapar have been ordered to submit their respective passports to the ED immediately and seek permission from the court before travelling abroad.
Rana Kapoor, along with his wife Bindu Kapoor, and Gautam Thapar and some Yes Bank employees named as accused by the financial probe agency for an alleged loan scam of over Rs 1,700 crore. After the offence was registered by the CBI, the ED registered a money laundering case.
The FIR alleged that Kapoor obtained pecuniary advantage of over Rs 300 crore, thereby causing loss of over Rs 1,700 crores to Yes Bank by extending credit facilities to Avantha group of companies when it was not eligible.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Rana Kapoor, submitted that his client had not been arrested by ED during investigation of the matter and post filing of the prosecution complaint without arrest, was entitled to be released on bail. He pointed out that the offences against Kapoor were punishable with maximum imprisonment of seven years.
Since the bail jurisprudence was divided for offence punishable up to seven and more than seven years, Kapoor deserves the discretion of the court to be released on bail, Aggarwal contended.
Advocate Sandeep Kapur from Karanjawala & Company appeared for Thapar and pointed out that the proceeds of the crime in the case had already been duly secured as the ED had provisionally attached property, and hence there was no question of the accused fleeing from justice.
Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves opposed the bail application stating that the case is an economic offence having a magnitude of more than Rs 300 crore.
Rana Kapoor continues to remain in custody in relation to other Yes Bank related scams; while Thapar is lodged in Tihar jail for another case also being investigated by the ED. The detailed bail order is awaited.
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