A special court has granted bail to former CEO-MD of Yes Bank, Rana Kapoor, noting that hewas trial-less in a money laundering case concerning his bank and the company Macstar for more than two years.
The court, while passing the order, said Kapoor deserves parity with the co-accused, including main conspirators Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), who were never arrested or have secured bail.
Kapoor to remain in custody
Kapoor will, however, continue to remain in custody in other cases.
The former banker was taken into custody in January 2021 in the case while already in custody in other offences. He continues to remain in judicial custody.
“The applicant has been in jail and already undergone 73% of sentence of minimum punishment, when trial of the case is not proceeded even by a millimetre. All this is shocking,” the court’s order said, adding that it is thwarting an undertrial prisoner’s valuable right to a quick trial.
The court also noted that there were several other accused in the case – total 18 – and roles attributed to the Wadhawans indicated that they were the main conspirators. The Wadhawans were not arrested, whereas Kapoor has been undergoing undue incarceration, it said. “All this caused great injustice,” the court observed, adding that some accused persons got an easy rescue and have been enjoying their foreign trips. It called the arrests by the prosecution “selective” and said it cannot entertain the same. Kapoor is eligible for parity for bail, it stated.
Court calls ED's attitude "shocking"
The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) probe was based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) FIR. Special Judge MG Deshpande of a designated court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) pointed out that the CBI has not filed a charge sheet in the case till date and an inference can be drawn that except registering the FIR, the agency has not investigated it. It also noted that while claiming that the investigation is ongoing, no progress report has been submitted for two-and-a-half years, whereas it should have been done within the stipulated period of 60 to 90 days. It also pointed out that no arrests were made either by the CBI, while the ED was “completely unaware” of the status of the CBI’s case.
It called the ED’s attitude “shocking” and said it has been “idle for long” and left Kapoor to his fate.