Supreme Court denies bail to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, says case rocked entire financial system

The Supreme Court has dismissed the bail petition of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, who was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March 2020, on the grounds that the case rocked the entire financial system. 

The Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice S.V.N. Bhatti refused to grant bail to Kapoor, following which, the accused sought liberty to withdraw his petition.

The Yes Bank promoter had moved the top court of the country by way of a special leave petition after the Bombay High Court denied his second bail application, which he had filed on grounds of prolonged incarceration.

The Bench noted that usually, the period undergone was substantial for grant of bail. However in the present case, this was a matter that rocked the entire banking system. 

Noting that Kapoor’s actions affected Yes Bank, the Apex Court observed that the alleged financial irregularities caused by Kapoor had such huge implications that the Reserve Bank of India had to step in to protect the investors.

However, the Bench granted liberty to the accused to approach an appropriate court for relief after some time.

Kapoor, who was arrested in March 2020, has since remained behind the bars. He was accused of receiving illegal gratification in exchange for sanctioning bad loans to high-profile borrowers. 

During the course of hearing, the Apex Court directed Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju that cases involving high stakes or large amounts of money should be taken up on a priority basis. 

It said under the normal law, the period for investigation was 90 days. However, in the present case, the probe took 360 days to complete, the Apex Court told the Counsel representing the ED. It added that something was wrong.

When the law officer explained the difficulties faced by the ED in completing the investigation swiftly, including the complexity of financial transactions under the scanner, the bench observed that the Central government was capable of tackling the problem.