PMC bank case: Supreme Court stay on shifting Wadhawans from jail to residence
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde ordered a partial stay on the high court order after the matter was mentioned by solicitor general Tushar Mehta on behalf of enforcement directorate (ED).Updated: Jan 17, 2020 00:37 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the direction of the Bombay high court which had ordered shifting of HDIL group promoters, Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, who are accused in the PMC bank scam, from judicial custody in Mumbai’s Arthur road jail to their residence.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde ordered a partial stay on the high court order after the matter was mentioned by solicitor general Tushar Mehta on behalf of enforcement directorate (ED).
“Until further orders, there shall be a stay of the directions given by the High Court in paragraph 15 (xv) and (xvi) of the impugned order dated 15.01.2020”, the order said.
ED hurriedly moved the Supreme Court on Thursday against the high court order which had effectively released the father-son duo Rakesh and Sarang, from Arthur road jail where they have been confined since October 24, 2019 after they were remanded to judicial custody by a special court.
Wadhwans were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police in September 2019 after it surfaced that the management of PMC bank in connivance with the Wadhawans allegedly concealed loan defaults by HDIL firms by replacing 44 loan accounts of HDIL with 21,049 fictitious accounts. The loss caused to bank was estimated at Rs 4355 crore.
The ED also registered cases against Wadhawans under the prevention of money laundering act.
The Bombay high court in its order of January 15 constituted a 3-member committee for auctioning of assets of companies owned by the two accused and distribution of amounts realised from such auction to the depositors of PMC bank.
The high court also ordered that the two accused should assist the committee in its exercise to realise amounts from auctioning properties. The accused, the court said could remain in their residences but in custody with two guards each posted at their residences. They were also barred from travelling beyond Maharashtra.
The order was passed by the high court in a public interest litigation filed by an advocate Sarosh Damania who prayed that Wadhawans should be barred from being released on bail by lower courts till the recovery of the money defrauded by them.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court today that Bombay high court passed an unusual order yesterday by releasing two of the accused who are currently in judicial custody. Mehta sought a partial stay of the high court direction to shift the Wadhawans from jail to residence. He, however, submitted that the direction to sell assets of HDIL should continue to operate.
“It is an unusual order. The high court has virtually granted bail in a public interest litigation”, Mehta told the top court which acceded to his request and stayed the shifting of Wadhawans from jail to residence.