18 Sep 2023 2:55 PM GMT
The Enforcement Directorate "loves spreading itself out and going beyond the predicate offence", said Senior Advocate Harish Salve, while arguing for extension of interim bail for Pernod Ricard India Regional Manager Benoy Babu in the money laundering case in relation to the Delhi's liquor policy scam. “For whatever reason the man is out today, the Court has granted him some reprieve,...
The Enforcement Directorate "loves spreading itself out and going beyond the predicate offence", said Senior Advocate Harish Salve, while arguing for extension of interim bail for Pernod Ricard India Regional Manager Benoy Babu in the money laundering case in relation to the Delhi's liquor policy scam.
“For whatever reason the man is out today, the Court has granted him some reprieve, 10 months he has been inside…this person has gone and hammered on by ED because ED loves spreading itself out and going way beyond the predicate offence…Man is out already, will the heavens fall if the man is out for 10 days?”, Salve submitted before a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti.
The bench however refused him relief and directed him to surrender on or before September 25, 2023. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi also appeared for the accused.
Court Room Exchange
Senior Advocate Harish Salve: The man is on the interim bail on health ground, if your lordship could extend that..
Justice Sanjiv Khanna: What is wrong with the wife?
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi: My lords, she has Varicose veins..
Justice Khanna: Varicose veins is nothing very serious… I think, almost 20-30% people have
Salve: If it becomes severe, it becomes debilitating
Justice Khanna: Yes, Mr. Raju on interim bail what do you say?
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju: I object…every person in a big scam wants medical bail
Salve: CBI’s Charge sheet and ED’s charge sheet are in teeth of each other
Khanna: Have long have you (accused) been on interim bail?
Rohatgi: 15-20 days
Moving forward, ASG SV Raju and Salve got into an argument. When Raju started showing the accused role in the matter, Salve refuted: “If you will go on to the role then I will have to show, my lords, the ED’s role in this.”
Rohatgi went on to show the relevant documents regarding the medical history of accused’s daughter and wife. The said documents also contained the details about the wife’s operation for Varicose vein.
However, Khanna pointed that “this is daycare procedure” and thus, asked the accused to surrender.
To this, Salve tried persuading the bench on prima facie case for interim bail. “I am just saying the man is out today, your lordship will hear this in 10-15 days, why does ED have to be so..”
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However, the Bench, not satisfied with the petitioner’s arguments went on to pronounce the order and directed the accused to surrender .
Recently, the Delhi High Court dismissed the bail application of Benoy Babu in the Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering probe. Therein, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, in its order dated July 03, 2023, observed:
“I consider that at this stage, there is sufficient material on the record that the petitioner was indulging or knowingly assisting in process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime and it cannot be said that there are reasonable grounds for believing that petitioner is not guilty of such offence and he is not likely to commit any offence well.”
However, on September 06, 2023, Benoy Babu (petitioner) requested before the Delhi High Court to extend the interim bail granted to him vide order dated August 24, 2023, by the Special judge, Rouse Avenue District Court, New Delhi during the pendency of the said bail application before the Delhi High Court, in the interest of justice. The petitioner submitted his minor daughters have been suffering from depression for the last few months and prayed for his interim bail to be extended so he can take care of his children.
A single-judge Bench comprising, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, acceded and specified that the Court was extending the interim bail of the accused till September 19. It further made it clear that since the relief is purely on humanitarian grounds, no further extension of interim bail shall be sought on the ground of medical condition of his daughters.
Case Title: BENOY BABU vs. DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT, Diary No.- 37542 - 2023
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