PNB scam: Mehul Choksi's aide gets bail

·2-min read

Mumbai, Jul 13 (PTI) A special CBI court here has granted bail to Dhanesh Sheth, a senior aide of absconding jeweler Mehul Choksi, in the alleged Rs 13,000 crore scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The bail was granted by judge V C Barde on Monday, but the detailed order became available on Tuesday.

Sheth was named as an accused in a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case earlier this year.

He appeared on Monday -- as directed by the court after taking cognizance of the charge sheet -- and applied for bail.

His lawyer Vijay Agarwal argued that there was no evidence against his client which was why he was not shown as accused earlier, and even now the agency had found no evidence against him.

Sheth obeyed the court's summons and duly appeared before it, the lawyer pointed out.

Public prosecutor A Limosin opposed the bail plea, saying the alleged offense was of 'serious nature'.

He was not entitled to bail merely because the CBI did not arrest him earlier, the prosecutor said.

The court, however, observed that the accused person's presence was apparently not required for further investigation. He was not accused to have absconded or tampered with evidence or threatened the witnesses, it noted, granting Sheth bail.

Sheth was the director of Gili and Nakshtra brands, part of the Gitanjali Group of Companies promoted by Choksi. The group is accused of a fraud of over Rs 7,080 crore.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned off a total of over Rs 13,000 crore from the PNB, a public sector bank, by fraudulently obtaining Letters of Undertaking (LoUs). An LoU is a guarantee for a person/firm for obtaining loan from overseas branch of an Indian bank. PTI AVI KRK KRK

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