Three accused in money laundering case walk free
Three accused in money laundering case walk free

New Delhi: In a surprising turn of events, three persons who had been summoned as accused in a money laundering case also involving journalist Upender Rai, walked free from a Delhi court on Saturday without even securing bail.

As per law, if an accused is not arrested by the prosecuting agency during probe, he will have to secure bail from the court on his first appearance before it on summons. If the court refuses to grant bail, the accused will have to go to judicial custody. 

The accused — Narendra Kumar Rai, Rajesh Mathur and Yogender Pal Gupta — were summoned as accused by the court, after filing of a charge-sheet by the Enforcement Directorate in the case. 

However, after they appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal on Saturday and moved bail applications, ED's special public prosecutor Rajiv Awasthi told the court that there was no need of bail since they were not arrested during the investigation. 

The ED took contradictory stands before the court, with Awasthi saying there was no need to secure bail, whereas ED's other SPP, Nitesh Rana, submitting that all the accused persons be send to judicial custody till the bail is granted or accused can leave the court only after interim bail. 

Rana insisted that the bail was not only required rather the agency would oppose their applications. The court, thereafter, noted the submission made by the counsel from both the sides and let the accused go.

ED, meanwhile, opposed the bail application of journalist Upendra Rai, the main accused in the case, which relates to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions. 

Advocate A R Aditya, appearing for the agency, told the court that the accused may influence witnesses and hamper the probe if released on bail.

In his application, the Delhi-based scribe claimed he was not required 
for further custodial interrogation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody. 

The agency also told the court that Rai was influential, and he may destroy evidence and flee from justice if he comes out of jail. 

The journalist was arrested on 8 June 2018 by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail in New Delhi, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

 He was arrested by the CBI on May 3 for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions, getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) by furnishing false information, alleged extortion and manipulation of an Income Tax Department case against a Mumbai-based businessman.

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