A local court on Monday rejected the bail plea of Shivraj Puri, the main accused in the multi-crore Citibank fraud case.
Puri, a former relationship manager of Citibank, has been in judicial custody in Bhondsi Jail after being arrested in December 2010.
Shivraj along with his father Raghuraj Puri has been accused of siphoning off more than R300 crore from the bank accounts of many investors by luring them in a non-existent high-return scheme. The scam involved transfer of money from the bank accounts of Puri and his relatives to five brokerage companies — Normans Martin, Religare, Okaya Power Limited, Bonanza, BG and India Infoline.
“Allowing bail to the accused will discourage other investors to come forward and depose,” observed judicial magistrate Ashok Man while rejecting the plea.
Statements of 20 prosecution witnesses have been recorded in the case. Besides, three employees of Hero Corporate Services — Yogesh Jindal, Bharat Goel and Ashok Goel — have also deposed in the court that Puri had misguided the company to invest money.
The accused's counsel contented that bail be given to Puri as he has already spent 13 months in jail, while many accused in the much bigger 2G spectrum scam got bail from the Supreme Court after seven months of their custody.
Citibank lawyer Harish Malhotra countered that the prime accused in the 2G scam, A Raja, is yet to get bail.