Mumbai: HC grants bankers bail in Kingfisher loan case

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

In a relief for the former Chairman of IDBI Bank Yogesh Agarwal and head of the Corporate Banking department, BK Batra, the Bombay High Court granted them bail on a surety of Rs 1 lakh each, in the Rs 900-crore loan scam related to now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested four employees of the airlines and five staffers of IDBI for the case in January.

Special CBI Judge HS Mahajan had rejected their bail applications in February, after the agency had claimed that IDBI loaned R900 crore to Kingfisher without following proper procedure. Thereafter, they had knocked on the doors of the HC. In the last hearing, Justice Sadhana Jadhav of the HC had slammed CBI saying that it had let off big fish like Vijay Mallya and was unnecessarily catching smaller people without any legal mandate.

While the CBI demanded to keep the duo in judicial custody to prevent them from tampering evidence, defence lawyers Ashok Mundargi and Aabad Ponda argued that they should not be kept in custody indefinitely as the agency had
already completed their investigation.

Justice Jadhav said to the CBI: “You did not seek their custody even once at the time of the initial probe and instead arrested them without any notice or warrant under section 4 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

She added, “There is no question of tampering with evidence, as all of it is already with you. If at all you think that they are criminals, then you should tell us under what provisions of law should they be kept in custody.”

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