MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday granted bail to Sai Vanjape in the alleged multi-crore economic fraud by developer D S Kulkarni (DSK) and his group of companies.
Sai Vanjpe is the niece of DS Kulkarni and she was arrested by the Pune EOW in 2018.
The bail is for Rs 1 lakh PR bond with one or more surety of like amount.
Justice Nitin Sambre observed that the submission that her bank account for land transaction at Fulsungi was done by sister-in-law of the main accused DS Kulkarni, under a power-of-attorney, casts a “doubt’’of her direct involvement in the crime.
Besides, four co-accused who face similar accusations as her were granted pre-arrest or regular bail said the HC.
Sai’s lawyer Aniket Nikam had also argued that Sai’s bank account was misused by a co-accused who looked after the transactions. He said Sai did not sign any cheques for the alleged land deal and also sought bail for her, on grounds of parity.
She had petitioned the HC last year after a sessions judge in Pune rejected her bail plea in December 2019. Nikam arguing in HC said the arrest was “merely on the basis of surmises and conjecture’’ and in any case the investigation was complete and her continued custody, no longer necessary.
He argued that the FIR was filed in 2017 in Pune on basis of “non return of deposits kept by fixed deposit holders and has nothing to do with transactions of DSKDL, a public limited company.’’
But opposing her bail plea, special public prosecutor Pravin Chavan argued it was a large and serious case of economic offence with specific allegations against her to show the existence of a prima facie role. The prosecution, he said, has moved for cancellation of bail to other co-accused who were granted liberty and the application to file such petition is pending before the law and judiciary department.
The HC said “case for grant of regular bail is made out.’’
But while imposing several conditions like not to tamper with evidence or delay trial Justice Sambre also directed that it would be “open for prosecution to move for cancellation of bail’’ if bail granted to other co-accused is cancelled.