Bank fraud: Delhi HC upholds order allowing Deepak Puri to travel abroad for medical treatment

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has upheld a trial court order allowing businessman Deepak Puri, booked along with his son Ratul Puri in a Rs 354-crore bank fraud case involving their company Moser Baer, to travel to the US for the treatment of his mouth cancer.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar dismissed the CBI's plea challenging the trial court order dated December 23, 2020, saying there is no infirmity in it.

'I find no infirmity in the impugned order dated December 23, 2020 passed by the Special Judge. The same is, therefore, upheld. Consequently, the present petition is dismissed and disposed of accordingly,' the judge said in the order passed on January 27 and made available on Saturday.

The trial court had granted permission to Puri and his wife Nita to travel overseas.

However, the CBI challenged the order in the high court which had on December 29, 2020 stayed the trial court's decision.

The court noted that the medical condition of 80-year-old Puri was not disputed and that he was operated upon for cancer in his cheek in 2016 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in the US. He has been following up with the doctors there who had performed the surgery and the reconstruction.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, representing Puri and his wife, submitted that it is the fundamental right of a person to get himself treated at a hospital and by a doctor of his choice and any doctor or hospital cannot be thrust upon that person.

The CBI had told the high court that there was no emergent medical condition requiring Puri to travel to the US for his treatment.

The agency had cited the report of an Indian doctor who stated that Puri can be examined at hospitals here and he can get the required treatment in India.

However, Puri's counsel had submitted that he needed to go to the USA for maintenance and further check-up as he had earlier received treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre there.

The CBI had in August 2019 lodged an FIR against Puri, his son and wife, and others in connection with the bank fraud on the basis of a complaint filed by the Central Bank of India against their company Moser Baer and its directors.

The bank had alleged that Moser Baer and its directors, including Ratul, forged and fabricated documents to induce it to release funds. PTI SKV DIV DIV