Yes Bank case: SC dismisses pre-arrest bail plea of DHFL promoters

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain pleas seeking anticipatory bail for DHFL promoters Dheeraj Wadhawan and Kapil Wadhawan in a money laundering case of Yes Bank under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B.R. Gavai dismissed the pleas after counsel appearing for Wadhawans contended they are not pressing for relief.

The Wadhawans moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court declining to entertain their anticipatory bail. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, contended before the bench that the accused have been arrested and their pleas for pre-arrest bail hold no value anymore. The apex court dismissed the pleas as withdrawn.

The High Court, declining their pleas for pre-arrest bail, held that their interrogation was required to uncover the conspiracy. It observed that they were not co-operating, and the ED had issued several summonses seeking their presence for questioning. Although the Wadhawans responded to the summons, they did not appear before ED, it noted.

The Wadhawans were arrested by the CBI in another case in connection with the Yes Bank scam. The ED is separately probing allegations of Rs 600 crore paid to a company controlled by the bank’s former CEO Rana Kapoor and his family members by a company linked with the scam-tainted DHFL.

The Wadhawans were arrested in April by the CBI in the Yes Bank scam. The investigative agencies are also probing the transactions between Kapoor’s family and the Wadhawans of DHFL, which is facing insolvency proceedings and owes creditors around Rs 36,000 crore.

The CBI has said investigations by its Economic Offence Wing into alleged deals worth Rs 5,050 crore found the Kapoor family received kickbacks in exchange for giving Yes Bank loans to the Wadhawans of DHFL through various channels and in gross violation of rules.

Kapoor is said to have used investment companies to get undue benefits from the Wadhawans after influencing Yes Bank to extend large loans to DHFL and other Wadhawan companies by flouting rules, according to the CBI.