Dena Bank case accused denied bail on Covid-19 grounds

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Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) A Special CBI court here on Wednesday rejected the bail application of a key accused in Rs 245 crore Dena Bank fraud case despite his appeal that he could get infected with Covid-19 in jail.

The special court rejected the bail plea of Vimal Barot, who is currently lodged in Mumbai’s Taloja jail. Barot, who was arrested on March 29, 2015 from his hideout in Ahmedabad after a prolonged manhunt, was recently shifted to Taloja jail in Mumbai. Since his arrest, Barot has made several applications for bail and all of them have been rejected.
His advocate had last week appealed before a vacation court seeking bail on grounds of apprehension of novel coronavirus infection.
The CBI council has pointed out that the order of the Supreme Court in respect of jail inmates, who are facing criminal charges wherein the punishment is upto seven years, however, the accused is facing charges wherein the punishment is upto life imprisonment.
“This is a case of multi-crore bank fraud. The apex court has categorically specified that those accused, who are facing criminal cases of multi-crore bank fraud or if they are facing cases wherein punishment is more than seven years, then they are not covered under the said direction of the Supreme Court,” the CBI said.
It is also clear that the accused had filed this application on Wednesday, but tintimated prosecution on Tuesday through WhatsApp and E-mail.
“It is interesting to note that the bail application was pressed before holiday court and not before the regular court. This is an abuse of process of law. Moreover, the recitals in the bail application itself show that the case of the accused does not cover the direction of the SC.”
After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court said: “There is no substance in the contention of advocate of the accused so the bail stands rejected and disposed of.”
The CBI had registered a case on July 14, 2014 on a complaint from Dena Bank, Mumbai against P.V. Nagarkar, then Chief Manager of Malabar Hill branch in Mumbai, Barot and unknown others for committing a fraud on the bank branch to the tune of Rs 245 crore.
Barot and his associates, in conspiracy with Nagarkar, approached other public and private sector organisations and induced them to invest in Fixed Deposits (FDs). “The original FDs were not given to the depositors and instead they were given false FDs,” said the CBI.
Later, the CBI said Barot and Associates took loan against such FDs in conspiracy with Nagarkar and siphoned off such funds and defrauded Dena Bank and other organisations.
The CBI filed its first chargesheet on June 24, 2015 against Barot and two of his associates– Devendra Bhogle, Rahul Gohil– and Nagarkar. Another chargesheet was filed on July 21, 2016 against Amrita Mathew, who was an associate of Barot. Except Barot, four others accused in the case have got bail.