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2021 (10) TMI 489 - PMLA
Seeking grant of Anticipatory Bail - Money Laundering - siphoning of funds - fake transactions - shell/dummy entities incorporated to perpetuate the fraud - HELD THAT:- Both the petitioners are said to be erstwhile directors of M/s. VMC Systems Limited, which was in the business of manufacture and sale of electronic products, with specific focus on AC-DC power convertors and communication products. A huge amount of about ₹ 1747.45 crores has been laundered/siphoned and that lead to registration of subject FIR No.15 of 2018 on the file of CBI, BS & FC, Bangalore. There are serious and grave allegations against the petitioners that they have indulged in money laundering offences by resorting to various dubious transactions in between the companies, involving the shell/dummy entities incorporated to perpetuate the fraud and siphoned the amounts.
In view of huge magnitude of conspiracy angle and possible involvement of the petitioners herein and pending their interrogation, granting any sort of relief, including anticipatory bail, to the petitioners would disable the respondent/ prosecution from further proceeding to trace the proceeds of crime and attaching it provisionally under Section 5(1) of PML Act, which is the basic objective of the said Act. In view of the serious allegations, thorough investigation and interrogation is warranted. It is also pertinent to state that in the event of grant of bail under Section 438 Cr.P.C, it may not be possible for the respondent/prosecution to trace the proceeds of the crime and take necessary action in terms of Section 5(1) of the PML Act.
While granting bail, the Court has to keep in mind the nature of accusations, the nature of evidence in support thereof, the severity of the punishment which conviction will entail, the character of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused, reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the trial, reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, the larger interests of the public/State and other similar considerations - In the instant cases, grant of anticipatory bail at the stage of investigation may frustrate the investigating agency in interrogating the petitioners/accused and in collecting the useful information and also the material, which might have been concealed. Success in such interrogation would escape, if the petitioners/accused knows that they are protected by the order of the Court. Grant of anticipatory bail, particularly in economic offences, would definitely hamper the effective investigation.
This Court is of the view that it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioners/accused under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. - Petition dismissed.