Judge Prakash D Naik through a video-conferencing hearing amidst the situation prevailing in the country, issued a notice to Wadhwan after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved the Bombay High Court, by an application seeking the cancellation of his Wadhwan’s bail, for having violated bail conditions and travelling out of Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Kapil Wadhwan, the Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoter was accused in a money laundering case that involved Iqbal Mirchi, an Indian criminal. The 2013 case in which he was accused is Kapil Wadhwan v. Samsung Electonics. Kapil was arrested in January, this year because of the suspicious dealings with Iqbal Mirchi, who is dead now. While the investigation was still going on, Wadhwan was granted bail in February through a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The dealings between Mirchi and Wadhwan
According to the ED, Kapil Wadhwan had laundered money from DHFL, for illegal dealings with Mirchi. Rs.12,773 crore was extorted from DHFL on the pretext that one lakh customers required loans. This money was used by Wadhwan to pay Mirchi.
The bail was given on three conditions:
- Wadhwan had to appear before the ED for investigation as and when it was required.
- He was also restricted from leaving the country without the court’s permission.
- Wadhwan was required to surrender his passport to the Investigation Officer (IO) as directed by Special judge Prashant Rajvaidya.
The Sessions Court granted Wadhwan bail in February when Amit Desai, the advocate who appeared for him submitted his company’s transactions proving that it had no relation with Iqbal’s dealings.
The ED had opposed the bail on the following grounds:
- Three properties in Worli, that belonged to Iqbal were proceeds of the crime and that Wadhwan might influence the probe if he were to be granted a bail.
- The further investigation conducted claimed that the properties belonging to Mirchi were to be bought by a company called Sunblink Real Estate Private Limited which was linked to Dheeraj Wadhwan (Kapil’s brother).
- On April 9th, Wadhwan and his family were put in quarantine alleging their travel to Sataria hill-station during the 21-day lockdown period.In light of this, the ED has issued a notice to seize the luxury vehicles and the people who travelled have been booked under Sections of IPC and also under the Disaster Management Act.
- Advocate Purnima H Kantharia, appearing for ED claimed that an application to cancel Wadhwan’s bail had been issues in March but had not been followed-up because of the country-wide lockdown.(The hearing was to happen on April 23rd)
The probe agency called for an immediate hearing of the application as the Wadhwan brothers left the city and flout the bail conditions. In the light of the above arguments, Advocate Purnima Katharia appearing for the ED filed an application before the High Court, seeking the cancellation of bail granted to Kapil Wadhwan as he had flout the conditions on which the bail was granted.
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