Excise Scam: Court grants 14-day interim bail to accused on humanitarian grounds

NEW DELHI, Jan 27: A Delhi court on Friday granted 14 days’ interim bail to P Sarath Chandra Reddy, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam on humanitarian grounds.

“…The applicant or accused  P Sarath Chandra Reddy is hereby granted interim bail for a period of 14 days for performing last rites of his deceased grandmother…,” Special Judge M K Nagpal said.

The court directed Reddy to furnish a personal bond of Rs 2 Lakh with one surety in the like amount.

The other bail conditions included the accused not tampering with evidence, not leaving the limits of Hyderabad, not indulging in criminal activity, not seeking an extension of the bail and keeping his mobile phone and its location switched on  continuously, the court said.

“A copy of this order be also sent to the jail superintendent concerned, along with the release warrant of the accused, for his information, compliance and records,” the court said.

It noted section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act prohibited bail to an accused unless and until the conditions in the said section were satisfied.

“But it is well settled that such like conditions are not to be applied when the bail has been sought by an accused on humanitarian grounds and, in such a case, bail can be granted to an accused despite the bars and rigours contained under the said section,” the court said.

It noted the accused’s grandmother passed away on January 25 but the body was preserved in a mortuary awaiting performance of the last rites by her eldest grandson Reddy.

“It has been submitted that the last wish and desire of the deceased in this regard is to be fulfilled,” the court said.

The court noted that Reddy was arrested on November 10, 2022 and remanded in judicial custody after 11 days.

“Investigation qua him stands already completed and even   a prosecution complaint (ED’s version of charge sheet) now stands filed against him and some other co-­accused,” the court said.

Meanwhile, the court posted the hearing of the bail plea of another accused Amit Arora for Saturday.

The ED is investigating alleged irregularities in the implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy of the Delhi Government.

The probe agency had on January 6 filed a supplementary charge sheet against five individuals and seven companies in the case.

The individuals named in the ED’s charge sheet are Vijay Nair, P Sarath Chandra Reddy, Binoy Babu, Abhishek Boinpally and Amit Arora. (PTI)