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Delhi Court issues notice to ED on Bail plea of Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar, accused in a bank loan fraud case


New Delhi, Sept 17 (ILNS) A Special Court in Delhi issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on the bail application of promoter of the Avantha Group, Gautam Thapar, arrested in connection with a bank loan fraud case.

Special Judge (PC Act), Sanjeev Aggarwal, listed the matter to September 27 for next hearing and directed the ED to file their reply one day in advance.

Vijay Aggarwal, Advocate who appeared before the court on behalf of Gautam Thapar, argued that the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had just started when the ED arrested Thapar. The ED should not have arrested Thapar as the current Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) is based on a scheduled offence. Earlier the court had remanded businessman Gautam Thapar to custody with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till August 15 in the Yes Bank loan fraud case.

Vijay Aggarwal, contented that the alleged case against Gautam Thapar is punishable with a maximum of Seven years of imprisonment and there is no likelihood of the commencement of trial in the near future. Since the investigation is complete and the applicant is no longer required in the probe, He may be granted bail.

Earlier on September 14, after Kapur contended that custodial interrogation is not required as the evidence in the case is primarily documentary in nature, and in such matters, a case diary has to be maintained by the ED, Thapar was thereafter sent to Judicial Remand (JC) for 14 days.

The Bail application was filed on September 15 and its hearing was listed for September 17(today).

The ED had arrested Gautam Thapar, for alleged diversion of bank funds, sham transactions with related parties, fabricating books of accounts, and siphoning off funds.

The ED had lodged a case against Thapar for causing a ₹467 crore loss to Yes Bank, which had extended a loan of ₹515 crore to Avantha Group for ten years in 2017.

Gautam Thapar was represented by a team from Karanjawala & Co headed by lawyer Sandeep Kapur, Senior Partner along with a team of lawyers comprising Vir Sandhu, Vivek Suri, Rajat Soni, Niharika Karanjawala Misra, Mridul Yadav, Apoorva Pandey, GG Kashyap, Abhimanshu Dhyani, Sidhant Singh and Sahil Modi. The team had briefed Vijay Aggarwal, Advocate to appear on behalf of Gautam Thapar. 

Aggarwal argued that Continued detention of the Applicant who has been languishing in the custody at the pre-trial stage does not appear to be warranted.

CBI has not even called the Applicant to join the investigation, much less, filed the charge-
in the case. The Directorate of Enforcement has arrested the Applicant without any scheduled offense being established, the petitioner said.

Aggarwal submited that the Applicant, who is in custody since August 03, 2021, deserves to be granted regular bail in the matter./ILNS/SNG


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