The anticipatory bail plea of Raghuraj Puri, father of Shivraj Puri who is the main accused in the Rs 400-crore Citibank customer fraud, was dismissed by a local court on Thursday.
The 65-year-old executive director of foreign exchange firm Normans Martin has been accused of conducting transactions with Citibank to the tune of Rs 50 crore through his son, who was a relationship manager with the bank. The senior Puri has been missing since the scam was unearthed.
Additional sessions judge Subhash Goyal, in whose court defence lawyer Sartaj Baswana had filed an anticipatory bail application for Raghuraj Puri on January 6, today turned down the plea.
Baswana said his client would now move the Punjab and Haryana High Court as he was being dragged into the controversy and was not involved in the scam.
While opposing the application, prosecution lawyer Harish Malhotra contended that the police had documentary evidence of transactions of R50 crore conducted by Shivraj Puri with Normans Martin.
“Investigating police officials produced a 200-page balance sheet of Normans Martin that clearly showed transactions through Shivraj Puri. Raghuraj Puri deliberately conducted these dealings to favour his son,” Malhotra added.
Malhotra further argued that it was not out of context to mention that Shivraj Puri did not carry out transactions of such a high magnitude with other firms other than Normans Martin and this clearly showed the involvement of his father.
In its reply filed in court on Wednesday, the police had claimed that Shivraj Puri was acting under the guidelines of his father.
Bank accounts of other relatives were also misused for routing investments of corporate entities and other big investors on the pretext of high returns.
The reply paper filed by the police stated that since recovery of the amount invested or lost in the fraud was still to be recovered and Norman Martin's bank accounts reflected transactions to the tune of R50 crore, Raghuraj Puri was also a co-accused in the case and had to be arrested. On the other hand, the defence lawyer quoted another Citibank fraud worth R3 crore hatched by its employee three years ago. He was also sacked by the bank but was allowed bail by the Supreme Court, the lawyer said.
Baswana also said Normans Martin was a forex firm and member of Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India and not a brokerage company as was being claimed by the prosecution.