Bombay High Court grants bail to builder in Yes Bank-DHFL corruption case

18 May,2024 01:26 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

The Bombay High Court emphasised that barring bail in serious economic crimes is not an absolute rule.

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

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The Bombay High Court granted bail to Pune-based builder Avinash Bhosale in an alleged corruption case involving Yes Bank and DHFL, noting that bail cannot be denied only because the issue is economic. Bhosale was arrested in May 2022 and is currently in judicial detention while seeking medical care at a hospital. Justice NJ Jamadar, presiding over the single bench, granted bail to Bhosale and instructed him to pay a Rs 1 lakh surety, reported PTI.

The court emphasised that barring bail in serious economic crimes is not an absolute rule. "The parameters which govern the grant of bail in other categories of offences equally govern cases where a person is accused of an economic offence," the High Court stated. While appreciating the terrible consequences of economic crimes, the court ruled that bail should not be rejected if other conditions are met.

Per the news agency report, the bench stated that the preliminary examination of the prosecution evidence reveals a significant drop in the amount of suspected fraud attributed to Bhosale, affecting the allegations' gravity. The inquiry has concluded, and three chargesheets have already been filed.

Bhosale has been in custody for two years and is being prosecuted for offences such as cheating, criminal conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust by a public worker under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and applicable provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The HC questioned the application of Section 409 of the IPC (criminal breach of trust by a public officer) to Bhosale's role. "The applicant cannot be prima facie roped in for the offence punishable under Section 409 of IPC, which entails punishment of imprisonment for life," the court stated. The question of whether Bhosale helped a public official commit crimes punishable under the PCA will be decided at trial, the report added.

Reportedly, the CBI claims that Bhosale received bribes from Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor, who is also implicated in the case, for diverting cash. Yes Bank, under Kapoor, disbursed Rs 3,983 crore to Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL), which were proceeds of crime. DHFL approved loans over Rs 2,420 crore to three Radius group companies led by industrialist Sanjay Chhabria, who is also charged in the case.

The CBI alleges that Bhosale received Rs 350 crore in kickbacks from the Radius group for enabling DHFL loans as consultation service payments. In 2020, the CBI arrested Kapoor and DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, charging them of a criminal conspiracy to provide financial aid to their housing financing enterprise in exchange for considerable disproportionate benefits for Kapoor and his family members, the report added.

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