High Court Allahabad HC refuses bail to MD of Frost International

Allahabad HC refuses bail to MD of Frost International

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Allahabad, Mar 26 (ILNS) The Allahabad High Court has refused to grant bail to Uday J Desai, Managing Director of Frost International Limited, Kanpur.

Justice Om Prakash-VII on Thursday dismissed the bail application, filed under Sections 439 (2) read with Section 436(1)(a)&(d) read with provision to Sections 212(6) 212(14) of the Companies Act, 2013, read with Section 621(1) of the Companies Act, 1956 read with Section 195 CrPC.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, Counsel appearing for Desai, submitted that the applicant is aged about 64 years and is in jail since March 19, 2020. He has cooperated with the investigating agency. There is no need for his further interrogation, as the investigation has already been completed and the charge sheet has been filed, said Mr Rohatgi.

Since number of witnesses disclosed in the charge sheet are living out of the country, it will not be possible to conclude the trial expeditiously. Much time will be consumed in serving the summons upon them and also in recording their evidence.

It was further submitted that besides the said witnesses, there are also a number of witnesses who are residing in India.

Hence, there is no chance for an early conclusion of the trial. The entire prosecution case rests upon documentary evidence. There is no chance of tampering or influencing the evidence and witnesses by the applicant.

The Counsel stated that the applicant was suffering from COVID-19 and was shifted to Lucknow for treatment. Apart from the disease, he also suffered from other diseases for which treatment was continued at Lucknow and thereafter he was shifted to Kanpur.

Mr Rohatgi further contended that main accused of Rotomac Group-Vikram Kothari and co-accused in the matter – Sunil Verma and Anoop Wadhera, had approached the apex court, challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions of Section 212(6) of the Companies Act and the apex court granted interim protection to them in their petitions.

It was further stated that no purpose would be served by keeping Dessi behind the bars, as he was ready to abide by the conditions imposed by the Court.

At this juncture, the Senior Counsel also referred to provisions of Section 212(6) of the Companies Act and further submitted that since applicant is an old and sick person, therefore, bar created under Section 212(6) of the Companies Act will not come in the way of release of applicant on bail.

In reply, Gyan Prakash, Senior Counsel appearing for Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), submitted that the bail application is not maintainable as applicant has directly approached the Court for regular bail.

Since entire documents annexed with the complaint are not available before the Court, legal mandate required under Section 212(6) of the Companies Act cannot be arrived at before the Court.

The Counsel for the SFIO submitted that the trial is going on in the district court of Kanpur. The petitioner should present the bail application there itself, but by not giving the application there, it has been filed directly in the High Court. 

The bank lost a total of Rs 7,820 crore by giving fake book of account by the Petitioner, therefore accounts have become non-performing asset (NPA), the counsel said.

The Court said, “Considering the entire facts and circumstances of the case, submissions of counsel for the parties and keeping in view the nature of offence, evidence, complicity of accused and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the Court is of the view that there is no substance in the submissions made by the Counsel appearing for the applicant. The applicant has not made out a case for bail. The bail application is liable to be rejected and the same is accordingly rejected.” ILNS/SNG/RJ

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