Mumbai: HC Grants Ex-Vice Chairman Of IL&FS Bail In ₹ 94 Crore Scam Case

Mumbai: HC Grants Ex-Vice Chairman Of IL&FS Bail In ₹ 94 Crore Scam Case

The court refused to stay its order for a week to permit the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to approach the Supreme Court.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 12:13 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted bail to 62-year-old Hari Sankaran, former vice-chairman of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and an accused in the Rs94 crore scam, due to his “fragile heart”.

“In view of such a fragile heart as well as the overall health condition of the applicant [Sankaran], no purpose would be served in continuing his detention, else, it would frustrate the very object of Article 21 of the Constitution,” Justice Prithviraj Chavan said on Thursday while directing his release on furnishing a personal bond of Rs1 lakh.

Court Rejects Stay Request, SFIO Approach Supreme Court

The court refused to stay its order for a week to permit the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to approach the Supreme Court.

Sankaran was arrested on April 1, 2019 following a case registered by the SFIO under various provisions of the Companies Act and the Indian Penal Code. Over 30 persons have been arrested in the case. SFIO had filed the chargesheet in the case in 2019. However, the special court took cognisance only on November 28, 2023.

The SFIO initiated the probe on September 30, 2018, following an order from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to investigate into the affairs of the several companies i.e Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited and its subsidiary companies.

Bail Plea In HC Contested Amid Health Concerns Of Sankaran

Sankaran sought bail from the HC after his plea was rejected by the sessions court on October 30, 2019.

His counsel Aabad Ponda sought bail on grounds of “long incarceration without any hope of commencing the trial at least for a few years” and “serious ailments”.

Medical reports pointed out that Sankaran is suffering from serious cardiovascular diseases and serious comorbidities including type II diabetes. He has around 10 stents.

State advocate Hiten Venegavkar opposed the plea on the grounds of the “gravity, seriousness and enormity of the offence”. Besides, Sankaran is instrumental, in the sense, has control and is a key person. He has been permitted on a few occasions to take treatment at private hospitals.

“In case, detention of the applicant is continued in judicial custody, perhaps it would increase a risk of cardiac death in view of the medical reports placed on record,” the court noted.

HC Orders Release of Sankaran

Justice Chavan also took note of the fact that the probe is complete. “Indubitably, the investigation is over and the applicant’s detention is no longer required in judicial custody. Nothing is to be recovered at the instance of the applicant. Almost all the evidence is in the form of documents, which is in the custody of the respondent No.1 (SFIO),” Justice Chavan added.

While directing his release on furnishing a personal bond of Rs1 lakh, the HC has directed him not only to tamper with the evidence or attempt to influence or contact any of the witnesses or persons concerned with this case.

The court has also asked Sankaran to keep the investigating officer and the special court informed in case he is admitted to any hospital.  

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