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Monday, July 22, 2024

Supreme Court Rejects Default Bail Plea of Radius Group’s MD in Yes Bank Money Laundering Case

The Supreme Court rejected a plea by real estate developer Sanjay Chhabria, the Managing Director of Radius Group, challenging the Bombay High Court’s decision to deny him default bail in the Yes Bank money laundering case. Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal stated that the offence is grave, and the high court had thoroughly considered all aspects.

Chhabria’s counsel withdrew the plea, leading to its dismissal.

Earlier, on October 9, a single bench of Justice M S Karnik had dismissed Chhabria’s petition for default bail. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed its prosecution complaint within the mandated 60-day period but sought permission from the special court to continue further investigation. The ED argued that while the probe against Chhabria was complete, the investigation into the case was ongoing.

The high court concurred with the agency, stating that money laundering cases involve intricate transactions and demand a comprehensive investigation. It emphasized that money laundering aims to legitimize illegally obtained funds, making it challenging for authorities to trace and seize the proceeds.

Justice Karnik highlighted the complexity of money laundering cases, involving multiple levels of transactions and intricate schemes to disguise illicit funds.

The ED alleged that Chhabria played a crucial role in diverting funds illegally obtained by Yes Bank’s founder Rana Kapoor and Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoter Kapil Wadhwan.

Justice Karnik emphasized that further investigation was ongoing regarding the broader money laundering offence in the case. The high court asserted that there was no prohibition on the ED conducting additional investigations to gather evidence against any accused involved in the offence.

Chhabria’s lawyer argued for default bail, citing the incomplete investigation 60 days after his arrest on June 7, 2022.

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