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Why court rejected SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh's anticipatory bail plea

The reason cited by the court in its detailed written order, made available in the public domain on March 31, was the gravity of the offence alleged against Singh.

March 31, 2022 / 05:33 PM IST
SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh.

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh.

In what can be seen to be a major setback for SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh, a sessions court in Delhi on March 30 refused to grant him anticipatory bail in a  case of fraud involving a few lakh rupees.

The reason cited by the court in its detailed written order, made available in the public domain on March 31, was the gravity of the offence alleged against Singh.

Also Read | Delhi court rejects SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh's anticipatory bail plea, written order awaited

Singh has already joined the police investigation as per the court's order passed earlier this month, a spokesperson of Spicejet said. "Mr. Ajay Singh, as per the Hon’ble Court’s directive, has already joined the investigation and appeared before the authorities. Therefore, no warrant or bail is relevant since these were to ensure his attendance."

"Mr. Singh will continue to extend full cooperation in the matter to bring this frivolous and mischievous complaint to a close," the statement issued by SpiceJet further adds.

Close

Singh's case had reached the court when he moved for anticipatory bail following the issuance of non-bailable warrants against him for failing to be present before the investigating agency probing the case.

After securing protection from arrest initially as an interim relief, Singh's plea for anticipatory bail stood rejected as the court placed reliance on precedents laid down by the Supreme Court which stated that "granting anticipatory bail at the stage of investigation may frustrate the investigating agency in interrogating the accused and collecting useful information and also material which might have been concealed."

After hearing the parties in the case, the court concluded that the issues involved in the case require a thorough investigation.

As per the court's record, the First Information Report (FIR) filed against Singh has now been transferred to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police which will now probe the case.

At the heart of the dispute lie two share-purchase agreements entered into between Singh and the family members of the complainant for the transfer of a total of 25 lakh fully paid-up shares of SpiceJet. The transfer was agreed to on the consideration of Rs 25 lakh. This transfer however was not executed on account of expired Delivery Instructions Slips (DIS).

While it is Singh's case that the DIS was handed over to the complainant as security under bona fide understanding that the same will not be presented, the complainant alleged that Singh gave outdated and invalid DIS dishonestly.

Moreover, Singh contended that the shares could not have been transferred on account of a pending legal dispute between himself and the erstwhile promoters of the airline. On the other hand, the complainant highlighted that Singh had proceeded to pledge SpiceJet shares on multiple occasions.

The court noted that while a legal dispute between former and present promoters of SpiceJet does remain pending, there are no orders for stay passed by any court pertaining to the shares of the company.

The issue of handing over invalid DIS is termed as a "serious and grave offence" by the court and basis the gravity of this offence, proceeded to reject Singh's anticipatory bail.



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Shruti Mahajan
first published: Mar 31, 2022 05:33 pm
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