PMLA Court Grants Bail To Yes Bank Founder Rana Kapoor, Citing Ongoing Investigations & Delay In Trial Progress

PMLA Court Grants Bail To Yes Bank Founder Rana Kapoor, Citing Ongoing Investigations & Delay In Trial Progress

Soon after, the special court granted bail to Kapoor, the ED sought a stay in the execution of the bail.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Friday, December 22, 2023, 02:23 AM IST
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Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor | File

The special PMLA court on Thursday granted bail to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor for having spent more than half of the maximum sentence prescribed for money laundering, while the agencies are still conducting further investigation, and there cannot be a trial without the completion of the probe.

ED sought to stay the execution of bail

Soon after, the special court granted bail to Kapoor, the ED sought a stay in the execution of the bail. The plea was objected to by Kapoor's lawyers Rahul Agarwal and Jasmin Purani, saying the court has no power to stay its own order. The plea, therefore, was rejected. The agency is now likely to move to the High Court on Friday.

Meanwhile, Kapoor will not come out of prison as his bail application in connection with one of the CBI cases is still pending for a hearing.

The special judge MG Deshpande, while granting bail to Kapoor, said, "The way in which further investigation is going on in this case, even after 3 years and 9 months without any logical end, particularly when the maximum punishment is provided to the extent of 7 years, itself is a merit for this application."

The ED, however, claimed that they have already submitted the draft of charges to begin the trial by framing charges. The court, however, questioned how that is possible if the investigation is not yet concluded. "The contention of ED as well as CBI that their further investigations are still underway and progressing, itself is a clog in their way in framing the charge against accused persons.

ED also knows well that unless this clog is removed, the Court cannot frame charges, yet embattlement in filing a draft charge speaks volumes and nothing but to pretend that ED is ready to proceed with the trial even today. It is, therefore, clear that framing charges with such voluminous records in both cases is not an easy task and requires a long time. So, in the instant case, framing charges and disposing of the case in the near future is not possible," the court noted.

Court's observations

Besides, the court said Kapoor was not responsible for the delay in the trial. The court also noted that as per the provisions of PMLA, the trial of the scheduled offense and the case of PMLA has to be conducted before the same court. The court said the ED took no efforts in bringing all the cases linked to Kapoor before these courts. Hence the court said, ED for a long time did not take any steps.

"The offense under Sec.4 (money-laundering) provides punishment with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 3 years but which may extend to 7 years with a fine. 3 years and 9 months till date incarcerated unduly by the applicant is nothing but a deemed conviction and sentence he has undergone. Apart from this, the basic principle of law is that the accused is to be supposed innocent unless his guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In case in the future the accused is acquitted, what about his undue incarceration amounting to the minimum sentence which he has undergone for no reasons?," the court said.

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