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Excise policy case: Delhi court reserves order on bail pleas of five accused

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) A Delhi court on Friday reserved its order on the regular bail pleas filed by five accused in the Delhi excise policy case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Special Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Courts was dealing with the bail pleas moved by Sameer Mahendru, Kuldeep Singh, Narender Singh, Arun Ramchandra Pillai, and Mootha Goutam.

During the hearing, Nagpal said that the court will pronounce the order on February 28.

The court had on January 3 granted them interim bail in the case. The court had also sought a response from the CBI on their regular bail pleas.

The CBI had charge-sheeted the above-mentioned accused along with Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally.

However, Nair and Boinpally were granted bail earlier by the same court.

The court while taking cognisance of the CBI charge-sheet filed against a total of seven accused had issued summons against all of them.

The bail granted to Nair and Boinpally is under challenge before the Delhi High Court.

On Thursday, the court had rejected the bail pleas of Nair, Mahendru and Boinpally in the excise policy case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Two others who were denied bail were Sarath Chandra Reddy and Benoy Babu.

While denying bail, Nagpal had said that the method adopted by the five persons for committing the offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) makes up for sufficient incriminating evidence.

As the ED has already levelled serious allegations of tampering evidence against them, the court had said that it will also not be possible to hold that the accused persons will not try to tamper evidence in case they are released on bail.

“Keeping in view the totality of facts and circumstances and the above discussion, this court is of the considered opinion that none of the applicants/accused deserves to be released on bail in this case at this stage of proceedings, as the allegations levelled against them are quite serious and relate to commission of an economic offence of money-laundering defined by Section 3 and made punishable by Section 4 of the PMLA. Hence, their bail applications are being dismissed,” the court had observed.