2022 (11) TMI 753 - HC - PMLA
Seeking grant of Regular bail - Money Laundering - embezzlement of government fund - scheduled offences - proceeds of crime - HELD THAT:- In reading the entire complaint case there are allegations against this petitioner who happened to be a senior I.A.S officer of the State of Jharkhand to deposit a huge cash amount. A sum of Rs. 01.33 crore has been in the form of cash in the name of brother of her Chartered Accountant and mother of this petitioner has been also found to be invested which has come in the investigation. Thus, it cannot be said that the petitioner was not using the proceeds of crime in light of section 2(1)( u ) of the Act.
There is no doubt that even if the allegation is one of the grave economic offence it is not a rule that the bail should be denied in every case since there is no such bar under the relevant enactment passed by the Legislature nor does the bail jurisprudence provides so as has been discussed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of P. CHIDAMBARAM VERSUS DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT [2019 (12) TMI 186 - SUPREME COURT], but at the same time the consideration will have to be on case to case basis on the facts involved therein and seeking the presence of the accused to stand trial. The bail are being granted on certain conditions in appropriate cases and the object of putting such conditions should be to avoid possibility by the person hampering the investigation Section 45 of the Act is no more res integra.
The conditions as embodied under section 45 of the Act will have to be complied even in respect of application for bail made under section 439 of the Cr. P.C. There are allegations against this petitioner of laundering a huge amount of money which has come in the investigation and it has been elaborately discussed - The modus operandi as adopted by the petitioner disclosed that she first open bank accounts for short duration, then deposited huge cash into it, then converted those cash into dem and drafts to purchase insurance policies of longer durations and prematurely closed those policies to bring back liquidity in her accounts for further investment. She used to invest the same either in the form of capital infusion by her brother Siddharth Singhal and her husband Abhishek Jha who is also an accused in their company M/s Pulse Sanjeevani Healthcare Private Ltd. Huge amount of cash amounting to Rs.73.81 lakhs was deposited in her various ICICI bank accounts.
Admittedly, the petitioner is a senior I.A.S officer of the State of Jharkhand. In the departmental proceeding she has been exonerated. The Court does not want to make any comment on that exoneration as this Court is only considering the regular bail application of the petitioner - the apprehension of the Enforcement Directorate E.D with regard to tempering with the evidence cannot be ruled out.
The Court is not inclined to grant regular bail to the petitioner at this stage - Petition dismissed.