In a setback for the promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Limited’s (DHFL) Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, the Bombay High Court denied them bail on Wednesday. The duo is lodged in jail for their alleged roles in the multi crore Yes Bank scam case.
A bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal said the real victims in this case were the shareholders and depositors of Yes Bank.
The bench was dealing with the applications filed by both Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan, seeking default bail. The duo, through senior counsel Amit Desai, highlighted the fact that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case, failed to submit its charge sheet before the special court within the time frame of 90 days.
Notably, a prosecuting agency is duty-bound to submit its probe report or the charge sheet within 90 days. If the same isn't done, the agency must seek additional time to submit the same. Else, in such a scenario, the accused is entitled to default bail.
The contentions were vehemently opposed by additional solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for CBI. He pointed out that the agency had submitted its report before the special CBI court within time. However, documents, such as the statements of witnesses in the case, amongst others, couldn't be submitted on the same day due to the precautionary measures undertaken by the courts in view of the pandemic.
The accused even claimed that they were victims of a criminal breach of trust from Rana Kapoor, the managing director of Yes Bank.
Having heard the contentions, Justice Kotwal held that there wasn't any criminal breach of trust. In fact, the duo, along with Kapoor, had ‘conspired’ to siphon off the amounts.
"The prosecution’s case is that public money, which was deposited by the depositors in Yes Bank, was used for committing this offence for personal gain and for causing loss to the bank and its depositors," the judge noted. "This offence was committed pursuant to the conspiracy amongst all the accused. The real victims were the depositors and
shareholders; particularly of Yes Bank. That amount was not utilised for getting profit for Yes Bank; but it was used for the personal gain of the accused. Thus, clearly these offences are made out," Justice Kotwal added.
The judge further said that CBI did not fault on filing its report late. He also said that filing of documents late doesn't make the charge sheet incomplete. The judge even said that, in such matters, the courts cannot resort to a ‘technical approach’. Thus, there wasn't any delay in filing the charge sheet. Accordingly, the bail pleas were turned down.
Notably, the prosecution has claimed that Yes Bank had invested Rs 3,700 crore in the short-term debentures of DHFL between April and June, 2018, for which the Wadhawans allegedly gave a Rs 600 crore kickback to the former CEO and managing director Rana Kapoor.