PNB fraud case: CBI court refuses to grant bail to former VP of Gitanjali Group
The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday refused to grant bail to Vipul Chitalia, vice-president of Gitanjali Group of Companies, arrested in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.
Chitalia was arrested on March 6, 2018 while he was returning from Bangkok. While arresting him, CBI had claimed that he was instrumental in preparing applications seeking Letter of Understanding (LoU) from PNB in connivance with key accused Gokulnath Shetty, who was posted as deputy manager at the mid-corporate branch at Brandy House.
The agency also claimed that Chitalia, in connivance with another key accused Mehul Choksi and other accomplices, had fraudulently shown liability in the books of accounts towards two Hong Kong-based firms — 4C’s Diamond Distributors and Shanyang Gong SI Limited — and not towards PNB which had issued the LoUs. Further, it is claimed that Chitalia was an authorised signatory for Gitanjali.
This was Chitalia’s second bail plea filed through Vijay Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal on the grounds of delay in conducting trial. The first plea was filed on the merits of the case claiming that he had no role in the fraud and had resigned from the company long back. After it was rejected in 2018, they approached the high court.
However, the plea was later withdrawn and they filed a fresh plea citing the merits and delay in trial. The plea was not accepted by the special court. Chitalia is now likely to approach the high court for bail.
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- The HC stated that section 8 of the Pocso Act, which penalizes physical contact with sexual intent without penetration, did not apply here as the minor was still wearing her clothes when the accused groped her.