New Delhi, August 20: The Delhi High Court has set aside six arrest orders against industrialist Vinay Mittal who was accused in seven fraud cases worth ₹ 40 crore and extradited to India from Indonesia in 2018.
The high court said there was merit in Mittal’s contention that he cannot be arrested in any other case till the pending extradition requests are accepted by the Republic of Indonesia, news agency PTI reported.
Mittal was brought to India in October 2018 after the Indonesian authorities allowed the extradition request in CBI’s one of the cases. Thereafter, six separate extradition requests in the remaining six cases were also made through diplomatic channels which are still pending.
The CBI, however, arrested Mittal in other cases also, which was challenged by him in the high court.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru, who allowed the petition and set aside the six flowing arrest orders, clarified that “there would be no impediment in the CBI prosecuting the petitioner (Mittal) in other cases once the extradition requests in respect of those cases are acceded to by the Republic of Indonesia.”
“Undisputedly, in terms of the extradition treaty entered into between India and Republic of Indonesia, a person extradited in accordance with the treaty cannot be proceeded against for any offence committed by that person before he was surrender or extradited, other than the offence for which the extradition is granted,” the court noted.
The CBI had registered various cases against Mittal in 2014 for allegedly siphoning funds of the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
In his plea, Mittal claimed that he was an employee of Bharat Rana Chaudhary, drawing a salary of ₹ 25,000 to 30,000 and has been falsely implicated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
He claimed that he had initially joined the investigation and also cooperated with the prosecution and submitted that he was neither the prime accused nor the prime beneficiary of the alleged offences.
However, the CBI disregarded his role in 2014 and filed charge sheets against him in various cases, the plea said, adding that he left India in May 2015.
Pursuant to the Red Corner Notice, he was arrested by Indonesian authorities in January 2017 and after the extradition request was accepted, he was brought back by the CBI in September 2018 and was produced before a Ghaziabad court.
In his plea, Mittal contended that his arrests in other cases are illegal and violate the provision of the Extradition Act, and since he was extradited only in one matter, he could not be prosecuted in other cases filed against him. It added that this was not permissible in view of the Rule of Speciality as embodied in Article 14 of the extradition treaty between India and Indonesia.
The CBI prosecutor did not counter the contentions advanced on behalf of Mittal, however, submitted that it ought to be clarified that in the event Republic of Indonesia accedes to the extradition requests in respect of other cases that are pending with the Indonesian authorities, there would be no impediment in arresting the petitioner in those cases.
The CBI had alleged that Mittal was a proprietor of two firms, M/s Krishna and Krishna Enterprises and M/s Mittal Metals, and the bank accounts of these firms were used to siphon off funds from the banks. It was alleged that an aggregate amount of funds involved in the seven cases is around 43,19 crore.
After completion of the investigations, charge sheets were filed in all seven cases against him in different courts in Delhi and Ghaziabad.