A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court today granted bail to GV Sanjay Reddy, the ex Managing Director of Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) in an alleged money laundering case pertaining to irregularities in the management of affairs at the Mumbai airport.
The court here today took cognisance of the prosecution complaint (PC) filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against 21 including accused firm and Reddy. All the accused were represented by advocate Vijay Aggarwal, Advocate Mudit Jain and Advocate Rhythm Aggarwal.
With the court taking cognisance of the PC (equivalent to a chargesheet), the trial in matter can now commence.
The accused were summoned by the court today, which granted bail to seven including Reddy.
Earlier, in May, the ED submitted its first chargesheet in the special court against GVK group of companies, MIAL and its managing director Sanjay Reddy along with others for allegedly laundering Rs 500 crore through fictitious transactions to carry out further development of Mumbai’s international airport terminus (T-2).
ED, in its PC had alleged that the group controlled-MIAL had awarded a fake contract of civil work to companies with forged documents. The contacts were never executed but MIAL released the agreed payment. ED alleged that the contractors then transferred the money to GVK group companies or firms associated with its promoters and they laundered the money. ED named 21 accused in the case including seven individuals and companies including MIAL, GVK Airport Development Authority and GVK Energy, the chargesheet said.
ED’s counsel Kavita Patil opposed the bail plea stating that the case is an economic offence having a magnitude of more than Rs. 500 crores and that the accused persons being influential would tamper with evidence and influence witnesses if released on bail.
Defence counsel Aggarwal argued that the accused persons had duly cooperated with the investigation and have not been arrested during investigation and therefore, in view of the recent judgment of the apex court were entitled to be released on bail. “…the law on the said subject is clear that if a person is not arrested during investigation, then the Court on issuing summons after taking cognizance pursuant to filing of Complaint u/s 45 of PMLA by ED should release the Accused persons on bail as from the same it is clear that the custody of the accused would serve no purpose.,” Aggarwal further argued.
The bail was granted on the execution of personal bond and a surety of Rs. 5 lakhs. An application was moved to allow for depositing cash in lieu of solvent surety which was allowed by the special court.
ED’s case is based on the predicate offence registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In June, last year the CBI had booked the promoters of the Hyderabad-based infrastructure conglomerate as well as the MIAL for criminal conspiracy, cheating and fraud resulting in alleged losses to the state exchequer.
According to the CBI’s FIR, the promoters of GVK group, in connivance with unknown officials from Airports Authority of India (AAI), adopted various means to divert funds meant for the modernisation, upgradation, operation and maintenance of the Mumbai airport through their joint venture company – MIAL. The CBI pegged the alleged irregularities at Rs 705 crore.Internet Explorer Channel Network