Patra Chawl redevelopment project: Bombay High Court lists bail plea of Sanjay Raut to March 2, grills ED for not arresting main accused
The High Court of Bombay has come down heavily on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for not seeking custody of Sarang and Rakesh Wadhawan, who were prime accused in the case related to irregularities in redevelopment of a chawl in northern suburbs of Mumbai.
Appearing for ED before the Bench led by Justice N. R. Borkar, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh contended on Saturday that both Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, promoters of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), were in judicial custody in another case.
They were not arrested in the money laundering case, he added.
The Bench then asked the ASG why it was not demanding police custody of the main accused. It further remarked that the national agency was keen to keep Sanjay Raut as an undertrial prisoner, but was not showing interest in arrest of the main accused and listed the matter for further hearing on March 20.
The High Court made the remarks on ED’s application seeking cancellation of bail granted to Sanjay Raut and aide Pravin Raut.
The agency further sought expunging of adverse remarks made by the trial court against it in the bail order.
ASG Singh argued that the main accused not being arrested could not be a ground to grant bail to Sanjay and Pravin Raut.
He said the statements of the main accused were taken while in judicial custody. Hence, there was no need to arrest them.
Representing Pravin Raut, Senior Advocate Abad Ponda clarified that the charge sheet was filed against the main accused and they were on bond. Hence, there was no scope of arresting them.
The ASG argued that the trial court did not consider the relevant material for bail in the money laundering case and rather, gave its finding on the basis of a predicate offence of fraud.
He further submitted that ED’s application was in the nature of an appeal and that it was not the ED’s case that bail conditions have been breached.
As per the ASG, the ED was seeking cancellation because the bail order was perverse and bail should not have been granted in the first place.