New Delhi: A Mumbai sessions court today granted bail to Rana Kapoor, the former MD, and CEO of YES Bank, in a money laundering case involving the bank’s unlawful loss of over 300 crores.
Mr. Kapoor was granted bail on some usual terms by a special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is unable to leave the country, and the court has ordered the forfeiture of his passport. He is also required to appear in court on all dates set for the case. He must also provide a temporary surety of Rs. 5 lakh.
Gautam Thapar, a businessman, and seven others were also granted bail in the case involving the sale of a house in a prime location in Delhi.
Mr. Kapoor and Mr. Thapar, on the other hand, will not be released until they are released from court custody in connection with other matters.
The current investigation involves charges relating to the sale of a property on Amrita Shergill Marg in Delhi to a firm owned by Rana Kapoor’s wife, Bindu Kapoor, for which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Mumbai filed a second FIR last year.
Based on the CBI’s FIR, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) then filed a money laundering case against Rana Kapoor, Bindu Kapoor, Gautam Thapar, and seven others.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Mr. Kapoor, argued before the Court that his client had not been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate during the investigation in the current case and that because the probe agency had filed the Prosecution Complaint without arresting Rana Kapoor, he is entitled to be released on bail under settled law by the Supreme Court of India.
Mr Aggarwal went on to say that the ED opposing bail without detaining the accused is like to firing from the judge’s shoulder.
The ED is investigating the alleged transaction involving Thapar’s Avantha Realty, Rana Kapoor, and the latter’s wife, and has filed a money laundering case in response to the CBI’s FIR.
According to the FIR, Rana Kapoor, the then-MD and CEO of Yes Bank Limited, received illegal gratification in the form of a property belonging to Avantha Realty Ltd (ARL) in a prime location in Delhi at a much lower than the market rate after the lender granted Thapar’s firm a loan as well as concessions in existing credit facilities.
The ED alleges in its charge-sheet that Mr. Kapoor conspired with ARL to fraudulently obtain or transfer property in a premium location in New Delhi to a firm called Bliss Abode, which is held by his wife Bindu Kapoor.
To obtain the property, Mr. Kapoor drafted a monthly lease-rent arrangement between Avantha’s two group companies and obtained a loan of 400 crores from Yes Bank by mortgaging the property.
The ED investigation further revealed that the bank put the property up for sale by projecting the accounts of the abovementioned group of firms as stressed accounts or NPA accounts. When the ARL group company’s account was on the verge of becoming NPA, Bliss Abode (beneficially owned by Rana Kapoor) offered 378 crores to acquire the property.
The property was valued at 550 crores, according to the ED.
Mr. Aggarwal contended that the suspected proceeds of crime in the current instance have already been recovered because the ED has provisionally attached property, and hence there is no question of running from justice.