Three days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Bombay High Court that Hiranandani Group director Surendra Hiranandani was “absconding”, he appeared before the court seeking anticipatory bail.
The Hiranandani brothers, Surendra and Niranjan, are accused in an alleged Rs 160-crore provident fund scam.
On Monday, the court granted interim protection to Surendra and directed the CBI to file its reply on his anticipatory bail plea on August 25.
Opposing CBI’s contention that Surendra was absconding, his advocate Sirish Gupte argued that he [Surendra] was “out of the country for some business work”.
“The CBI did not say anything since 2008 regarding his arrest but now they want his custody all of a sudden,” Gupte argued in court.
The CBI has sought time to file its reply on Surendra’s bail application.
The court also directed CBI to inform the immigration department to suspend the lookout notice issued against Surendra and granted him protection to return safely to India.
The high court is also hearing the anticipatory application filed by Niranjan, which was filed a day after the CBI issued a lookout notice against Niranjan and Surendra on August 3.
The CBI had registered a case against duo in 2008.
According to the agency, the First Information Report (FIR) was registered on March 29, 2008, on the basis of a specific intelligence.
Later, a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating was registered against the brothers. Others named in the FIR were four provident fund officers and two employees of the Hiranandani group.
According to the CBI, the Hiranandani group had not deposited the employees’ provident fund to their accounts for the year 2003-04.
On July 31, the high court had granted bail to general manager Joseph Reddy and project director C. Pithawala, two of the alleged accused in the case.