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Money Laundering Case: Avantha Group Promoter Gautam Thapar’s Bail Plea Dismissed

2 min read

Mitali Palnitkar

Published on : March 02, 2022 20:03 IST

On March 2, 2022; The Delhi High Court dismissed the Bail Plea of Gautam Thapar, the Promoter of Avantha Group, in a Rs 500 crore Money Laundering Case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri denied relief to Thapar. He was arrested under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) on August 3, 2021 after Raids were carried out against him and his Businesses in Delhi and Mumbai.

The ED is investigating an alleged transaction between Thapar’s company Avantha Realty and Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor and his wife, who are already being investigated under PMLA by the ED.

After taking cognizance of a First Information Report (FIR) lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Money Laundering Case was registered by the ED.

Thapar’s Bail Application was dismissed by the Trial Court in October 2021 observing that there was huge loss of public money in the Case and it was necessary to view the Case seriously.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi representing Thapar argued that the Bail was wrongly rejected only on the ground that that he could be a fight risk. He stated that ‘Triple Test’ was applied by the Trial Court in which two tests were held in his favor but the third test of flight risk was against him and thus, his passport could not be deposited.

The Trial court observed that Rs 500 crore were generated, laundered and utilized for repayment of existing loans and meeting other expenses in conspiracy with the other Accused persons.

It had accepted arguments of Special Public Prosecutors that the chances of Accused fleeing the country could not be ruled out.

In the Bail Application, Thapar claimed that he was not required for Investigation and there was no purpose to keep him in Custody.

The Trial Court took cognizance of Charge-sheet filed against Thapar and 20 others in 2021. The final report alleged that the Accused had committed Criminal Breach of trust, Cheating, Criminal Conspiracy, and Forgery for diversion of public money from 2017-19 causing a loss of Rs 466.51 crore to Yes Bank.

In September 2021, Thapar’s Plea was dismissed by the High Court. The Plea challenged his Arrest on the ground that he was produced before the Trial Court after expiry of 24 hours.

Also Read: Bail granted to Rana Kapoor, Gautam Thapar by PMLA Court

A brief study on Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

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