Mumbai: HC rejects bail pleas of Mumbai-based realtors in PMLA case

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail applications of realtors Babulal Varma and Kamal Kishore Gupta of Omkar Group, arrested in a money laundering.

A single bench presided by Justice A S Gadkari also rejected the accused's plea to quash the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED had arrested Mumbai-based Omkar Realtors and Developers' managing director Babulal Varma and chairman Kamal Kishore Gupta in January this year, after an FIR was lodged against them in Aurangabad on the charge of cheating.

The ED began a separate probe against the duo and arrested them on the charge of money laundering for having illegally diverted loans worth over Rs 400 crore.

The accused approached the High Court seeking that the ED's case against them be quashed since a magistrate in Aurangabad had accepted a closure report filed in the alleged cheating case FIR against them.

The duo stated that since the cheating case, on the basis of which, the ED had registered a separate case was closed, the PMLA case will not be valid anymore.

The ED's counsels additional solicitor general Anil Singh and Hiten Venegaonkar however, told the court that once the ED registered a separate complaint, the non-existence of the original FIR could not be considered an impediment to its probe.

The High Court, while rejecting the realtors' plea for quashing, held that acceptance of a closure report by a magistrate cannot stop the investigation by the ED into the PMLA case.

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