New Delhi, September 20: A Special Court here granted bail to the former Director, Company Secretary, CFO, and others of Bhushan Power and Steel Private Limited (BPSL), who are accused in connection with a multi-crore money laundering case pertaining to an alleged bank loan fraud.

The Court on Saturday granted bail to the 23 accused in the matter, BusinessWorld reported.

Special CBI Judge Arun Bhardwaj, while granting bail imposed conditions that no accused shall leave the country without the permission of the Court and shall not try to influence any witnesses or tamper with the evidence.

“….Considering the entirety of circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that ends of justice require that all the accused be granted bail subject to their furnishing personal bonds and surety bonds for a sum of Rs 1 Lakh each,” the Court said.

The court while granting bail observed that “so far as flight risk is concerned, all the passports are with the court and directions have been given to the accused not to leave the country without the permission of the court.”

“Regarding the apprehension of influencing the witnesses, it is only an apprehension without there being any concrete material for giving serious consideration to this apprehension. Moreover, law enforcement agencies are always at liberty to take steps in the event of any such development coming to their notice in accordance with the law,” the court added.

The same court had earlier granted bail to former Bhushan Steel CMD in the same case.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal representing several accused including the former director, secretary and other senior officials of the company had argued that all the accused co-operated during the investigation. They were not arrested and the charge sheet was filed without arresting them, he said. 

This court has issued summons to the accused for appearance in the court and on receiving the same, all the accused have appeared and submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of this court, Aggarwal said.

No useful purpose would be achieved by sending the accused to judicial custody as no recovery has to be got effected by them. There is no flight risk as the accused have deposited their passports in the Court on the directions of the Court.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its first charge sheet in the matter, stated that Sanjay Singhal is the “mastermind” behind the diversion of loan funds. The court had taken cognisance on a charge sheet, which named 24 persons and the company as accused. According to the economic offences watchdog, the company and its directors had deliberately defaulted in repayment of the loan amount to lender banks as per the time scheduled and their accounts remained continuously irregular.

ED said that these proceeds of crime were laundered by the way of infusion in the form of equity in BPSL, creation of assets in the name of self or family members directly or indirectly. Singhal was arrested by the ED on November 22 last year in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to an alleged bank loan fraud.

The ED had attached properties amounting to Rs 204 crores belonging to Singhal. Recently, the agency also attached immovable properties worth Rs 4,025.23 crore of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited in the alleged bank fraud case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

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