PMLA case: Delhi court extends Supertech Chairman’s interim bail on health grounds

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday extended for 30 days the interim bail of Supertech Group Chairman, RK Arora — who was arrested in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case, on health grounds.

Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala of Patiala House Courts noted that the medical reports submitted by Arora’s lawyer, supported by diagnostic evidence, were genuine and undisputed.

However, the court denied Arora’s request for a three-month extension of his interim bail.

The relief was extended on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and two sureties of equal amount.

Arora was directed “not to leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi or the country without prior court permission and to surrender his passport”.

He was asked not to tamper with evidence or engage in any unlawful activities, and to provide his mobile phone number to the investigating officer, keep it active and switched on at all times.

Furthermore, Arora was mandated to share his live location with the investigating officer daily and refrain from operating any bank accounts of the accused companies.

The judge dismissed the arguments put forth by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding potential tampering with evidence or threats to home buyers, stating that no instances of misuse of interim bail had been reported earlier and that the ED’s contentions were baseless.

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court had reserved its order on the default bail plea of Arora.

Judge Jangala had granted Arora 30 days’ interim bail on January 16.

While Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri said that he would pronounce the order later on Arora’s default bail plea, he also disposed the ED’s plea challenging the above-mentioned interim bail, which got over on Thursday.

On January 24, the ASJ had dismissed the regular bail plea of Arora.

On January 31, Justice Ohri had sought the ED’s response on his plea challenging a trial court order denying him regular bail.

The judge had issued a notice to the probe agency and had listed the matter for further hearing on February 21.

Jangala had allowed interim bail, holding that the top court had recognised the right of the accused to obtain treatment from a private hospital at his expense.

The judge had granted him relief on a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of Rs 2 lakh.

Arora had moved the court on January 10 seeking three months’ interim bail, citing health issues, and had informed the court that he had lost around 10 kg of weight since his arrest and needed urgent medical assistance.

His plea said that he was referred to the state-run Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital by jail authorities, where he underwent tests and received prescriptions.

Despite medical attention, the doctors at the hospital noted a lack of improvement in Arora’s health.

The plea argued for his immediate release on interim bail to facilitate an accurate diagnosis and urgent medical treatment and said that prolonged custody could jeopardise Arora’s health, leading to intolerable consequences for him and his family.

It also underscored the disparity between medical facilities in prisons and those available in private hospitals, stating that jail facilities were inadequate for monitoring the health of an individual suffering from multiple serious ailments.

In October last year, the court had refused to grant default bail to Arora, who had argued that the ED had filed an incomplete charge sheet against him just to defeat his “statutory right” to get default bail in case the probe agency fails to file a charge sheet within the statutory period of completing the investigation from the arrest of an accused.

On September 26, the judge had taken cognisance of the charge sheet against Arora and dismissed his application, observing that the ED had completed the investigation against the accused. Arrested on June 27 last year after the ED re-attached properties worth Rs 40 crore belonging to him in this matter, Arora had said that he was arrested without being informed about the grounds of arrest.

The court, however, rejected his claim, noting that the probe agency complied with the relevant provisions of law.

The probe agency had, on August 24, filed the charge sheet against Arora and eight others in the matter.

Arora has been accused of defrauding at least 670 homebuyers of Rs 164 crore.

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