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Last Updated : Jan 16, 2020 10:42 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

PMC Bank case: ED's burning of the midnight oil, delayed paperwork stalls exit of Wadhawans from jail

An appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate challenged a Bombay High Court order that allowed the shifting of HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, those accused in the Rs 6,800 crore PMC Bank scam case, from Mumbai's Arthur Road prison to their residence.

The Supreme Court,on January 16, ordered a partial stay on a Bombay High Court order in connection with the PMC Bank case after it heard an urgent appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Mumbai Police’s Economic Offence Wing (EOW).

The appeal challenged a Bombay High Court order that allowed the shifting of HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, those accused in the Rs 6,800 crore PMC Bank scam case, from Mumbai's Arthur Road prison to their residence.

ED officials, with the help of their legal team, worked through the night and prepared an appeal citing various reasons on why the accused duo should not be shifted from the prison to their residence.

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A delay in the processing of the paperwork and procedures at the Arthur road prison on January 15 also helped the agencies as the accused duo couldn’t be shifted until the paperwork was complete.

The appeal mentioned that the duo were influential people and could influence the witnesses if they were shifted out of prison. It also mentioned that the shifting would set a precedent that could be misused by others that are accused in similar cases.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated to a Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant, that there was no need of shifting the accused as it would be like granting them bail.

The appeal also stated that there was direct criminality on part of the accused. It also said that there was no material difference if the accused duo remained in prison as they could still help the committee in sales of the assets for recovery.

Tushar Mehta had approached the apex court early in the morning on January 16, and Chief Justice SA Bobde agreed to hear the appeal. Mehta mentioned that the High Court had passed a very unusual order on January 15.

After hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) related to the PMC bank scam, the Bombay High Court, on January 15,passed an order to form a committee headed by a retired judge and two others to expedite the process of sales of assets of the accused, and recover the exposure amount of PMC bank.

The High Court also directed that the accused duo should be shifted from the prison to their residence so that they can help and assist the committee with the sale of their encumbered assets. If the proceeds from the sale failed to recover the sought amount, then the committee must carry out the sale of their other assets.

The order also directed that the duo should be shifted to their residence to help the three member committee and remain under supervision of two prison guards. They were allowed to travel to help the committee in the sales of assets as within jurisdiction of the Bombay HC.

The apex court agreed with the submissions and put a partial on the Bombay HC order that directed the shifting of the accused duo.

PMC Bank depositors protested in front of the ED office on January 16.

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First Published on Jan 16, 2020 10:36 pm
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