Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Allahabad High Court grants interim bail to Rotomac owner Rahul Kothari

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the release of Kanpur-based Rotomac Global Company owner Rahul Kothari on interim bail.

A Single Bench of Justice Om Prakash-VII passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Rahul Kothari.

This is the Second Bail Application.

The Application for Interim Bail has been filed by the applicant Rahul Kothari with the prayer to enlarge him on interim bail in a case registered under Sections 36 (c ) r/w 447, 185, 186, 447, 448 r/w 447 of the Companies Act, 2013 and Section 211 r/w 628 of the Companies Act, 1956 registered with the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, New Delhi (S.F.I.O, New Delhi) and pending in the court of the Additional District & Sessions Judge-9, Kanpur.

Submission of the Advocate appearing for the applicant is that Special Leave to Appeal moved before the Supreme Court was decided on February 07, 2022 with the liberty to the applicant to approach before the competent forum.

It is argued that on the aforesaid date interim bail granted earlier to the applicant on January 20, 2022 was extended for further two weeks. Since bail application moved before the Court was not listed, hence fresh application was moved by the applicant before the Supreme Court which was allowed and interim bail granted to the applicant was extended upto March 02, 2022.

It is further argued that since bail application of the applicant could not be listed and period of interim bail granted to the applicant was expired, therefore, he surrendered before the court concerned on March 03, 2022 and is in jail.

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It is also argued that interim bail was granted by the Supreme Court on humanitarian grounds as his father has passed away and mother is suffering from serious illness and he is the only son.

It is also argued that since time is sought on behalf of the S.F.I.O, applicant was on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court, thus prayer was made to grant interim bail to the applicant till decision of the regular bail application. To substantiate his argument counsel for the applicant also referred to the documents annexed with the bail application as well as orders passed by the Supreme Court.

Counsel appearing for the S.F.I.O states that since the applicant has surrendered before the Court concerned, he is in custody, therefore, there is no occasion to grant him interim bail. Counter affidavit will be filed within four weeks. Thus, prayer was made to reject the prayer for interim bail.

The Court observed that, on rejection of the Criminal Misc Bail Application by the Court on May 11, 2021, applicants approached the Supreme Court through Special Leave Petition. Applicant was allowed on interim bail. Aforesaid Special Leave Petition (Criminal) has been disposed of on February 07, 2022 extending the period of interim bail. Interim bail granted to the applicant was also extended from time to time and was effective till March 02, 2022.

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Thus, keeping in view the entire facts and circumstances of the case and the grounds taken in the interim bail application and also the interim bail orders passed by the Supreme Court, the Court opined that interim bail prayer made by the applicant is liable to be allowed.

Thus, the Court allowed the interim bail application and the applicant be released on interim bail till the next date fixed in the matter on furnishing a personal bond and two heavy sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned subject to the following conditions:

1. The applicant will not tamper with the evidence during the trial.

2. The applicant will not pressurize/ intimidate the prosecution witnesses.

3. The applicant will appear before the trial court on the date fixed, unless personal presence is exempted.

4. The applicant shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused, or suspected, of the commission of which he is suspected.

5. The applicant shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer or tamper with the evidence.

6. The applicant shall deposit his passport with the Trial Court within one week from his release from prison and if he has no passport he shall swear to it on affidavit within the same period and shall not leave the country without prior permission of the Court concerned.

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As requested by the Advocate, appearing for the S.F.I.O four weeks’ time is allowed for filing a counter affidavit. One week thereafter is allowed for filing a rejoinder affidavit. List this matter on April 11, 2022, the Court ordered.

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