11 July 2023 5:28 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday denied bail to Leena Paulose, the wife of alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, in the Rs 200-crore extortion case.Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma also rejected the bail pleas moved by co accused persons Kamlesh Kothari and B. Mohan Raj.Paulose, who is presently in judicial custody, married Chandrashekhar in July 2014. She has been in jail since September 05,...
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday denied bail to Leena Paulose, the wife of alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, in the Rs 200-crore extortion case.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma also rejected the bail pleas moved by co accused persons Kamlesh Kothari and B. Mohan Raj.
Paulose, who is presently in judicial custody, married Chandrashekhar in July 2014. She has been in jail since September 05, 2021.
Seeking bail in the case, her counsel had submitted before court that most of the offences in the matter are bailable and that Paulose had no direct connection with the main offence alleged against Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
The counsel had also submitted that while chargesheet in the matter has been filed and investigation is complete, Paulose is also entitled to special protection under section 437 of CrPC being a woman.
On the other hand, the Delhi Police took a stand that under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA), there is a higher bar in not releasing an accused on bail. It was also submitted that under the statute, bail cannot be granted to an accused unless the court is prima facie satisfied that no case is made out against Paulose.
As per the Delhi Police, there is a clear cut evidence of conspiracy between Paulose and Chandrashekhar.
It was Paulose's case that as a "dutiful wife", she complied with many of the suggestions and demands of her husband in "good faith" without understanding various issues and consequences involved therein.
While denying bail to all three, Justice Sharma observed that the court was not able to persuade itself on the basis of the material on record that the accused were not guilty of crime.
“Thus, this court is if the considered opinion that the case is of a very sensitive nature and prima facie petitioners are involved in offences of MCOCA and the finding cannot be recorded at this stage that the petitioners are not guilty of such offence and they are not likely to commit any offence while on bail. This court also does not find any illegality or infirmity in the order of the learned trial court,” the court said.
It added that the record indicated that Leena Paulse was involved in the “organized crime syndicate” and that it was unbelievable that such huge amount of money were coming in her account and she was accepting the same only as a “dutiful wife.”
“It does not appeal to the reason that the high end cars were being purchased, the flights were being taken on charter without having any knowledge about free flow of money. It is beyond comprehension that a lady who is well educated will not know the source of money. The other grounds taken by the petitioner relating to her Fundamental Rights and right to be mother are liable to be rejected as she does not fulfill the twin conditions as laid under Section 21 (4) MCOCA. It is also pertinent to note that her husband is also in custody,” the court observed.
Senior Advocates Vikas Pahwa and Anand Grover appeared for Kamlesh Kothari and B. Mohan Raj respectively. Leena Paulose was represented by Advocates Wills Mathews and Paul John Edison.
Senior Advocate (former ASG) Sanjay Jain and ASC Nandita Rao appeared for Delhi Police.
Title: LEENA PAULOSE v. STATE OF DELHI and other connected matters
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 576
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