New Delhi Aug 24(ILNS): The Supreme Court, today, disposed of the matter as infructuous filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the order of Delhi High Court which had granted liberty to Deepak Puri to travel abroad for medical treatment who is accused in connection with a Rs 354 crore bank fraud case filed by the Central Bank of India.
A two-judge bench comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna directed that the disposal of this petition would not come in the way of CBI to take appropriate steps in case the accused violates the conditions for bail set by the Trial Court or the High Court.
Senior Advocate SV Raju, ASG appearing for CBI submitted that the matter had become infructuous as he was challenging an order giving liberty to the accused to travel abroad for two months. The accused had already left for the United States on 5th August. Upon being asked by the Court whether he will return for the trial or not, the ASG submitted that he was allowed permission for only 2 months.
The Special Judge (PC Act) had permitted the accused Deepak Puri, a director of M/s Moser Bear India Ltd to travel abroad for medical reasons. The Delhi High Court had upheld that order. The CBI approached the Supreme Court against the order of the Delhi High Court.
The facts of this case are that on the complaint of Deputy General Manager, Central Bank of India who alleged that M/s Moser Bear India Ltd. and its directors namely Deepak Puri, Nita Puri, and others entered into a criminal conspiracy amongst themselves and with unknown public servants to cheat the Bank. They dishonestly diverted the funds of the bank in their subsidiary and related entities as direct investment and other business receivables, opened a large number of bank accounts outside the consortium and submitted forged and fabricated documents relating to promoters’ infusion of funds, etc. and defaulted in repayment of the loan to the tune of Rs. 354.51 Crore.
CBI had contended that Puri will take the plea of flight risk due to Covid to evade the process of law and opportunity to abscond and cover their tracks. It was also submitted that the Special Judge had observed that they had not been summoned till then, however in these cases where a huge sum of money is involved (Rs. 2803.39 Cr) the investigating agency has to collect relevant material before summoning. The investigation also includes fraudulent investments in the United States.
A previous application to travel abroad on medical grounds was dismissed by the Special Judge as the lookout circular had not been quashed. At the time of hearing before the High Court, the same had been canceled. The Special Judge granted permission to travel abroad after being satisfied with the medical reasons that Puri needed treatment for cancer and its follow up./ILNS/KR/SNG