6 Sep 2023 1:52 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (05.09.2023) refused to grant bail to Gurmeet Singh and Subrata Bhattacharya, erstwhile directors of PACL (Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited), a real estate company embroiled in a scam involving more than 40,000 crores that is said to have duped several investors across the country. A bench of Justice A S Bopanna and Justice M M Sundresh was...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (05.09.2023) refused to grant bail to Gurmeet Singh and Subrata Bhattacharya, erstwhile directors of PACL (Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited), a real estate company embroiled in a scam involving more than 40,000 crores that is said to have duped several investors across the country.
A bench of Justice A S Bopanna and Justice M M Sundresh was considering applications for grant of bail in an FIR registered in 2014 in New Delhi and in all other subsequent complaints filed by different informants, investigated by different agencies across the entire country. The Apex Court said that it would not be possible to grant bail that would apply to all subsequent cases and directed the applicants to approach the appropriate jurisdictional courts seeking bail.
“One cannot apply one bail order to all the other subsequent cases. We do not have the adequate particulars pertaining to the subsequent cases filed, like the chargesheet pertaining to the case registered by different investigating agencies. It is not as if the applicants are unable to approach the concerned courts for seeking bail”
The Apex Court in 2015 had directed SEBI to constitute a Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice R M Lodha, former Chief Justice of India, for disposing of the lands purchased by PACL so that the sale proceeds can be paid to the investors. The Court noted that despite the efforts of the committee and the investigating agency out of the over 40 thousand crores siphoned off by the accused persons, only a paltry sum had been recovered so far.
Sr. Adv. ANS Nadkarni appearing for the applicants argued that they had been suffering incarceration for over 7 years and that one of the co accused had been granted bail. It was also argued that there was no possibility of the applicants tampering with witnesses as the investigation was based on documentary evidence.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati argued that many investors were duped in the scam and many families had been destroyed due to it. She also contended that the money trail had not been fully traced yet and that it possibly includes money deposited in various foreign countries. It was also argued that it was up to the applicants to approach the respective jurisdictional courts for bail.
The Supreme Court while denying relief to the applicants, extended the interim relief already granted to them by 3 months, granting them the liberty to approach the appropriate courts for bail.
Case Title: PACL V Central Bureau of Investigation, W.P. (Crl) No. 326 Of 2023
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 747
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