The Delhi High Court today dismissed the bail plea of controversial lawyer Rohit Tandon, who is behind bars after his arrest in connection with a money laundering case after demonetisation. “The petition is dismissed,” Justice S P Garg said while upholding a trial court order denying bail to the advocate. The trial court had denied the relief to Tandon on the ground that he is alleged to have been involved in a “white collar crime” with other co-accused in a “well-planned” manner. It had said that Tandon may influence prosecution witnesses if released on bail, especially when the investigation was at an initial and crucial stage. Earlier in the day, the high court issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and sought a status report from it on a bail plea by one of the co-accused, Paras Mal Lodha.
Lodha, a Kolkata-based businessman, has sought bail on several grounds, including poor health.
The court listed Lodha’s plea for hearing on May 22. Tandon, who is in custody since December 29 last year, had urged the court to release him on bail, saying the probe into the matter has been completed and he has been interrogated several times. The ED had arrested him after a raid on his law firm in connection with a black money probe that had led to the alleged seizure of Rs 13.6 crore. Tandon was allegedly involved in the illegal conversion of nearly Rs 60 crore demonetised currency. Besides Tandon, two other accused — Lodha and Kotak Mahindra bank manager Ashish Kumar — were arrested in separate PMLA cases.
They are also in judicial custody. Lodha was arrested on December 21 last year in connection with the alleged conversion of over Rs 25 crore old currency into new notes. Ashish Kumar was arrested on December 28 last year by ED in connection with a money laundering probe in a case of detection of nine alleged fake accounts with deposits of Rs 34 crore after the demonetisation was announced on November 8 last year.