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NSEL scam: Bombay High Court grants bail to FTIL promoter Jignesh Shah

The Bombay High Court has asked the Financial Technologies' promoter to furnish cash surety of Rs 5 lakh and be present before Economic Offences Wing (EOW) twice a week, until further orders of the trial court.

twitter-logo Mahesh Nayak        Last Updated: August 22, 2014  | 19:48 IST
File photo of FTIL promoter Jignesh Shah
File photo of FTIL promoter Jignesh Shah (Source: PTI)

The Bombay High Court has granted bail to Jignesh Shah, promoter of Financial Technologies (FTIL) for Rs 5 lakh surety, over three months after he was arrested in the case.

The FTIL promoter is likely to be released later this evening or on Saturday after completing the formalities.

"I am inclined to grant bail," Justice Abhay Thipsay said, asking Shah to furnish two sureties of Rs 5 lakh within two weeks. However, when Shah's counsels Amit Naik and Aniket Nikam made a prayer to allow the accused to furnish cash surety of Rs 5 lakh instead of two sureties on health ground, the judge accepted it and granted bail.

He will also have to be present before Economic Offences Wing (EOW) twice a week, until further orders of the trial court. The court ordered Shah to personally appear before the investigating agency every week on Monday and Thursday.

Shah's lawyers also argued that there was no likelihood of the accused absconding and hence, he be allowed to furnish cash surety.
Shah was behind bars for 107 days in connection with the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam.

Since his passport has already been impounded, no order was passed for surrendering the travel document.

The state and intervenors (investors who lost money in the scam) in the case urged for a stay on the order granting bail to Shah but their plea was rejected.

A large number of investors were present in the court for the hearing of Shah's plea challenging the trial court's June 24 order denying him bail on the grounds that investigation was still on and he could tamper with evidence or hamper the probe if released.

According to his lawyers, after being arrested on May 7, Shah had helped the EOW of Mumbai police investing the case by supplying documents and disclosing all information he had and so there was no question of tampering with evidence.

Shah's lawyers argued he had played no role in the scam, in which his employees might have been involved, and had no personal knowledge of what was happening.

Shah said he was a non-executive director of NSEL and was not involved in its day-to-day operations.

He came under the scanner of EOW and other agencies last year when NSEL, part of the FTIL Group founded by him, faced a payment crisis as nearly 18,000 of its investors allegedly lost millions of rupees.

(With inputs from agencies)

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