ANI Photo | Delhi HC grants bail to son of former WAPCOS CMD in corruption case

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to the son of a former CMD of Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited (WAPCOS) in a corruption case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recovered Rs 38 crores during a raid. The CBI registered a case of disproportionate assets. His earlier bail was dismissed by the trial court on May 29, 2023.
The vacation bench of Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju on Wednesday granted bail to Gaurav Singhal on furnishing a bail bond of Rs. 1 lakh and a surety in the same amount.
Justice Ganju said, “It is settled law that the bail should not normally be withheld if after taking other factors into consideration, an accused is entitled to bail.”
The Petitioner/Applicant has his family and roots in society and does not have any prior criminal antecedents, Justice Ganju added.
The electronic data as well as all devices including Laptops and mobiles have already been seized by the Respondent (CBI). Documents relating to investments/purchase of various movable/immovable assets, keys of 8 bank lockers in the name of the accused persons and various digital devices and storage media, etc. seized during searches on May 2, 2023, and during the investigation are also available with the Respondent as is reflected in the status Report filed by the respondent on June 13, 2023, Justice Ganju noted in the order passed on June 28.
An FIR on April 30, 2023, was registered by the CBI against Gaurav Singhal for the commission of offences of abetment and Corruption under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act) on the basis of information received against Rajinder Kumar Gupta (father of the Petitioner), his mother and his wife.
The allegation against the Petitioner (Gaurav Singhal) is that he abetted the co-accused Rajinder Kumar Gupta (his father) who, while working as the then Chairman and Managing Director [CMD], Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited [WAPCOS], during the check period April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2019, had committed criminal misconduct and acquired assets disproportionate to his legal sources of income to the tune of 131.92 per cent and enriched himself illicitly in active connivance with his family members including the Petitioner/Applicant.
The accused Gaurav Singhal was detained by the Respondent on May 2, 2023, and was remanded to custody for 10 days. Thereafter, on May 12, the Petitioner/Applicant was sent to Judicial Custody. The total period of incarceration of the Petitioner/Applicant, as on the date of
judgment being reserved is 52 days.
It was contended that during the search, all materials such as documents pertaining to Petitioner/Applicant’s bank lockers with keys, property papers, and all the digital devices belonging to the Petitioner and the Petitioner family were seized by the Respondent (CBI).
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur on behalf of the accused argued that his arrest is illegal and bad in law, in as much as the arrest was in blatant violation of procedure as set forth under Section 41 A of the CrPC. He submits that it is trite law, that the Petitioner should not be arrested without any preliminary enquiry before the registration of FIR.
The Petitioner/Applicant is being detained unlawfully based on transactions that took place from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2019, while the FIR was filed on 30.04.2023. It is submitted that the allegation of abetment is qua the period almost 3 years after the retirement of the Petitioner/Applicant’s father from WAPCOS, senior counsel argued.
It was further submitted that the stringent provisions of the PC Act have been wrongly invoked against the Petitioner/Applicant who is neither a public servant nor involved with any public/government body.
The Petitioner/Applicant is employed as Deputy General Manager with Maruti Suzuki Ltd. for the last several years and his continued incarceration is adversely affecting his professional career.
On the other hand, the petition was opposed by the Special public prosecutor for CBI who submitted that the Petitioner/Applicant is implicated in an economic offence wherein substantial sums of monies including Rs. 38,38,79,700 in cash, were confiscated from the Petitioner premises. Several crores in cash and foreign currency have been confiscated from the premises of the family members of the Petitioner/Applicant.
It was also argued that the Petitioner did not disclose the exact number of locations of lockers owned by them in different banks and one of the lockers situated in Indian Bank was operated by the mother of the Petitioner during the investigation

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