Cox & Kings ₹3,642 Crore Money Laundering Case: Anil Khandelwal & Naresh Jain Get Bail

Cox & Kings ₹3,642 Crore Money Laundering Case: Anil Khandelwal & Naresh Jain Get Bail

The special PMLA court has granted bail to Anil Khandelwal, chief financial officer, and Naresh Jain, internal auditor, of Cox & Kings

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Thursday, May 02, 2024, 10:57 AM IST
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Cox & Kings ₹3,642 crore Money Laundering Case: Anil Khandelwal & Naresh Jain Get Bail | Photo: Wikipedia

Mumbai: The special PMLA court has granted bail to Anil Khandelwal, chief financial officer, and Naresh Jain, internal auditor, of Cox & Kings, in connection with the money laundering case linked to the group’s loan defaults amounting to Rs3,642 crore. The court observed that investigation in the case is still in progress and the trial cannot commence owing to the “complex and exceptional procedure provided for trial in PMLA cases”.

The judge, MG Deshpande, while releasing the two on bail, noted that the PMLA Act mandates that the trial of predicate offence and the money laundering case has to be conducted simultaneously by the court hearing the money laundering case. Further, the law also states that in case the predicate offence is before a different court, it has to be transferred to the court hearing the money laundering case. In the present case, the court said the Enforcement Directorate did not take steps to get the predicate offence transferred till May 2023 and “wasted two years and seven months”.

2 get bail in Rs.3,642cr Cox & Kings case

“These are exceptional situations for the trial of the PMLA case, which have no alternative, and without addressing these situations, the court cannot proceed with the trial,” the court said. The court noted that speedy trial is a fundamental right of the accused, adding that Khandelwal and Jain have been in prison since October 5, 2020. The ED, being under the Union of India, is thus bound by the said principle and can raise the objection on the bail plea only if they diligently fulfilled their legal obligations under this principle, the court said.

It is the constitutional obligation of the ED to ensure expeditious trials for this case (along with simultaneous trials of five cases relating to predicate cffences) are concluded within a reasonable time. Khandelwal and Jain are booked in five other cases by different agencies, which are all listed as predicate offences by the ED.

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