Home >News >India >Special court grants bail to CC Thampi in PMLA case

Special Court on Wednesday granted bail to businessman C C Thampi who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its money laundering probe against Robert Vadra in a case related to acquisition of alleged illegal assets abroad. The court granted bail on a personal bond of five lakh and sureties of like amount.

Special judge Arvind Kumar had reserved its order on his bail plea on Tuesday.

“This court will like to see the consistency. I am alleged to be a mere facilitator. The courts have laid down the triple test in every bail application.The triple test is not fulfilled. Their reply is that I may tamper with evidence, may influence witnesses. Where is the question of tampering with digitised electronic records of either property transactions or bank records. And if the triple test is not satisfied, what else can be the argument. It is an alleged economic offence of grave nature. And I wish to rely on the Supreme Court order in Chidambaram case.That gravity by itself is not the determining factor which the court will consider, going by the totalty of the circumstances." Advocate Raju Ramachandran had said yesterday while arguing for his bail.

“For bail there are people who are co-accused and are out on anticipatory bail. I am not accused of predicate offence. If my role is only of the facilitator, the riggers should be less on me. They haven’t still been able to show how section 3 is attracted. Today the stage is whether I will be available for Investigation or not." Mohit Mathur also appearing for him had further added.

Amit Mahajan appearing for the agency submitted that since the accused in an NRI, Letter rogatories (LRs) have been sent.

“Allegations are that he purchased the property and he could not provide the source and the property was verified by the accused who ran away. He appeared after the summons were issued, he didn’t come on his own. Cooperating does not mean merely coming to the agency. The bail in this case should not be granted at all. He may have not generated the proceeds but he assisted in layerting which makes him an accused and Section 3 of the PMLA is very clear on this. Anticipatory bail was given last year (Vadra) and cancellation was filed immediately in the high court. The role cannot be said to be less and the one who facilitates his role would be more." He had argued.

Thampi was arrested by ED on 18 January. He is stated to be "controlling" a Dubai-based company Sky Lite. In 2009, Bhandari''s firm Santech FZE purchased a London asset from a private company which was acquired by Sky Lite. Vadra is alleged to have acquired this London-based asset, and few purported emails between him and Bhandari, regarding renovation of the London flat, are part of the evidence in the case.The agency claimed that Thampi met Vadra through an aide of his mother-in-law, while the latter reportedly told the ED that he only met him on board an Emirates flight some years ago.

Vadra is facing charges of money laundering in purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds. While granting bail, on a personal bond of 5 lakh and a surety of the same amount, the trial court had directed Vadra not to leave the country without prior permission and also to join the investigation as and when called by the investigating officer. ED has challenged his bail in Delhi high court.

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