A single judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna of the Delhi High Court today directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its reply on plea by promoter of Avantha Group, Gautam Thapar, challenging his arrest in connection with the Yes Bank fraud case.
Advocate Vijay appearing for Thapar submitted that his arrest was illegal since he was produced before the Special Judge after the expiry of the statutorily mandated 24 hour period. He said this was contrary to the provisions of law.
Vijay stated that on Aug 3, 2021, the officials from ED had conducted search and seizure at 8.30 am and the petitioner was arrested at the said time.
However, subsequently, the time of the arrest of the petitioner was shown as 7.55 pm on Aug 3 in the arrest order prepared by the ED.
Thereafter on Aug 4, Thapar was produced before the Special Judge, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the expiry of the statutorily mandated 24 hour period within which one arrested must be produced before the Court.
Thereafter, Thapar was remanded to ED custody by the Special Judge for one day, that is till, Aug 5. Thapar filed an application on Aug 5, before the Special Judge for declaring his arrest illegal in terms of Article 22(2) of the Constitution read with Section 57 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CrPC) and for necessary orders for remanding him to judicial custody till the disposal of the said application as he as not produced before court within 24 hours from the time of his actual arrest. However, the said application was dismissed.
Adv Vijay submitted that the Court failed to hear him on time of arrest and passed orders based on the time of arrest recorded in the arrest memo.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing for ED sought time to file reply.
The court will hear the matter next on Aug 27.
The ED had lodged a case against Thapar and other for cheating Yes Bank to the tune of Rs ₹467 cr where the latter had extended a loan of ₹515 cr to the Avantha Group for ten years in 2017.
[Edited by Shreya Agarwal]
Case Title: Gautam Thapar vs ED
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