Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted bail to four developers saying that the trial will take a long time to conclude and the developers do not appear to be a flight risk.
“It is really unfortunate that the investors have lost their hard earned money. However, considering that the trial is likely to take a long time to conclude, as the applicants do not appear to be a flight risk, who will stand trial, the present applicants can be enlarged on bail by imposing conditions,” said Justice MS Karnik on November 9.
Developers Bhavesh Chorge, Sanjay Tembvkar, Jayesh Vartak and Ratnadeep Sawant had approached the high court seeking bail through their advocates Satyavrat Joshi and Abhinav Dubey.
All Accused Were Arrested In May 2022
The developers were arrested on May 23, 2022, following an FIR registered against them under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act (MPID Act) and Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act.
The developers constructed a building on a plot of land and 18 flats were sold. The possession of the flats was to be subsequently given. Later, it was realised that the plot in question was not freehold land. It belonged to the government and some part of it was Adivasi land. Pursuant to proceedings before the high court, the building, which was constructed on the basis of forged / illegal documents, was directed to be demolished.
The flat purchasers claimed that they were persuaded to secure loans from GIC Housing Finance Ltd. Though the building was demolished, the flat purchasers were servicing the loans. State advocates Veera Shinde and PH Gaikwad, and advocate Tushar Kochale for the flat purchasers, submitted that not only the investors were deprived of the flats but they were paying monthly instalments for the loans, which they had obtained from GIC Housing Finance Ltd. They said that the total amount involved in the offence was Rs3 crore.
Developers Have No Objection To Get Properties Attached
Joshi informed the court that the developers had no objection if their properties were attached by the MPID Court in accordance with the law. He added that immediate families of the developers had filed affidavits stating that they had no objection to their properties being secured against the liabilities.
“In my opinion, no purpose will be served by continuing the custody of the applicant, which will be in the nature of the pre-trial punishment. The applicants will face the consequences of post-trial in the proceeding before the MPID Court if found guilty,” Justice Karnik said. The HC directed their release in furnishing personal bonds of Rs50,000 each.