Mumbai: The special CBI court on Tuesday set condition for release of Hemant Bhatt, close aide of Nirav Modi who allegedly acted in around 20 shell companies as director. Bhatt has been granted release by Supreme court on Monday.
"In view of the age and also the incarceration of about six years, the appellant – Hemant Dahyalal Bhatt is directed to be released on bail during the pendency of the trial," Division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Dutta observed while granting him bail.
Based on the order passed by the apex court, the special CBI court Tuesday set condition asking him to not temper with evidence and also asked him to appear before the investigating officer as and when called. Besides, he has been asked to deposit his passport.
Bhatt's Involvement In PNB Fraud Case
Bhatt, allegedly a close aide of Modi, are in prison since their arrest in 2018. Bhatt was the first person arrested from the Modi’s group companies as he was the authorised signatory in connection with PNB fraud case.
According to the CBI, Nirav, along with other accused, had siphoned of another Rs 6,498.20 crore from the PNB through 150 fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) issued between February and May 2017, taking the total fraud amount to ₹23,780 crore.
In its chargesheet the CBI claimed, “Investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2017, 1,214 LoUs amounting to ₹23,780 crore were fraudulently issued by accused bank officials, on behalf of M/s Diamonds R US, M/s Stellar Diamond and M/s Solar Export, of which 150 LoUs remained outstanding."
Nirav Modi had fled from the country on January 1, 2018. He was was arrested by the UK police on March 19, 2019. Later, the special court had declared Nirav Modi a Fugitive Economic Offender under the new law on December 5, 2019. This paved a way for the court to began the process towards confiscation of his properties which were located out of the country as well.