Mumbai, October 26: The Bombay High Court has directed the special sessions court to expedite the bail hearing of Vipul Chitalia, accused in the alleged Rs 13,570 crore fraud caused to Punjab National Bank (PNB). 

While disposing of the bail application, HC judge observed, “bail application in CBI special case is remanded back to the Sessions Court. However, it shall be heard by the learned presiding over where both PMLA and CBI special cases are pending”. He added, “The judge shall make an endeavour to decide the bail application as early as possible and in any case on or before December 12”. 

Defence counsel, Vijay Aggarwal argued that the applicant is now in custody for more than two years. “There has been no progress in the trial post filing of the chargesheet in May 2018 much less any supplementary chargesheet being filed. All the accused persons except the present Applicant have been enlarged on bail,” he contended, The Economic Times reported. 

“The fulcrum of the allegation against the present applicant in both CBI and ED case is same i.e the factum of the applicant being the authorized signatory of the three accused firms and the allegations are identical, hence when one court has enlarged the applicant on bail in relation to the same facts, there is no reason he is kept in continued custody in the other case,” he added. 

The High Court asked the CBI if it had any objection if the matter is remanded back to which the CBI said that it had no objection. 

In March, 2018, Chitalia, the vice president of the Gitanjali Group of Companies was arrested by the CBI in the case.The CBI in its chargesheet have claimed that Chitalia “main protagonist of the fraud” and “brain behind the conspiracy along with chairman and managing director, Mehul Choksi. 

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