Synopsis: The High Court relied on the order passed in July 2019 by the Supreme Court in which the accused’s involvement in the offence was meticulously flagged.
Anil Kumar Sharma, Managing Director of the Amrapali Group of Companies, has recently been refused bail by the Allahabad High Court in the case filed against him for offences committed under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
In view of the July 2019 order of the Supreme Court, in which his alleged involvement in the offence had been meticulously flagged, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh considered it not necessary to enlarge Kumar on bail and the fact that the investigation was still on and money trail still to be completely discovered.
After Kumar’s bail application before the Special Judge/Sessions Court, Lucknow was rejected in July this year, the issue came up before the High Court.
The High Court recounted that the Supreme Court relied on the findings recorded by Forensic Auditors to conclude that there was a prima facie violation of FEMA and other fraudulent money laundering activities, tracing the timeline of the scam that defrauded home-buyers.
Therefore, the supreme court directed the Enforcement Directorate to investigate the case and to assign liability to those responsible for the scam. The High Court also noted that Kumar was accused with serious economic offences.
But for the Supreme Court’s intervention, the High Court observed that the promoters of the Amrapali Group of Companies would have left thousands of flat buyers high and dry and that the Amrapali scam would not have been discovered.
Kumar was described as the king-pin of the alleged fraud, money diversion and money-laundering involved in the case.
The Judge further observed that it is well established that economic offences constitute a separate class and that a different approach to bail should be adopted. While granting bail, the court should consider the nature of the accusations, the magnitude and gravity of the offence and the nature of the facts to support the accusations.
The bail application is thus rejected in view of the order passed by the Special Judge, the nature of the accusation, the gravity of the offence and the punishment provided for the offence, the fact that the investigation was on qua other accused and given that the scam allegedly involves a huge amount of Rs.6,000 crores.