HC refuses bail to Wadhawan brothers in Yes Bank case

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(Eds: adds court's remarks) Mumbai, Nov 4 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected bail applications of Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), in the Yes Bank fraud case, holding that procedures were followed when a chargesheet was filed.

Justice S V Kotwal rejected the arguments made by the Wadhawan brothers' lawyers, senior advocates Amit Desai and A M Singhvi, that the CBI failed to follow procedure while filing a chargesheet in the case.

The Wadhawans had sought `default bail', claiming that the Central Bureau of Investigation, the prosecuting agency, had not complied with the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) while filing a chargesheet in a special CBI court here.

A default bail is given when procedural aspects, such as filing chargesheet within the stipulated period, are not followed.

Advocate Desai had argued that under CrPC section 173, a court can take cognizance of a chargesheet only if the probe report is complete.

In the present case, the CBI's probe report was not complete and yet the court had taken cognizance, he said.

The probe report was not even submitted to the court, but was filed in the court registry, he contended.

Advocate Singhvi had argued that the CBI added the offence of criminal breach of trust under section 409 of the IPC later and not while registering the FIR.

This was a 'subterfuge', he argued.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared for the CBI, opposed the bail applications saying that the CBI had followed all procedures.

If there were any deviations from the procedure, they took place due to the coronavirus pandemic situation, during which the court had taken precautionary measures for handling of documents, the ASG said.

Accepting the central agency's arguments, Justice Kotwal held that the probe report 'complied with all the requirements of law and hence was a proper report'.

Filing the report in the registry was not illegal, the judge added.

'Since requisite report under Section 173 of CrPC was filed within time, the right to seek default bail never accrued in favour of the Applicants (Wadhawans),' the HC said.

As per the FIR registered in the case by the CBI, Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore in short-term debentures of DHFL between April and June 2018, for which the Wadhawans allegedly gave a kickback of Rs 600 crore to the bank's then CEO and managing director Rana Kapoor.

These kickbacks were in the form of a loan to a company registered in the name of Kapoor's daughters, it said.

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