The Bombay High Court has sought details from the Maharashtra government about the health condition of HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, arrested on charges of money laundering in the multi-crore PMC Bank fraud case. The court has also asked in which barrack of the Mumbai-based Arthur Road prison they are lodged.
Justice Bharati Dangre was on Tuesday hearing petitions filed by Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan, seeking bail on medical grounds. The petitioners also claimed that there are no proper facilities in the jail in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Apart from Wadhawans' medical condition and barrack details, Justice Dangre also asked the state government what steps it has taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among prisoners. The prosecution shall ascertain the position regarding the applicants (Rakesh and Sarang) with regard to their medical condition, their placement in the barracks and also steps taken to keep the prisoners free from the COVID-19 pandemic, the court said.
It has posted the bail pleas for further hearing on June 12. The fraud at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank came to light in September 2019 after the Reserve Bank of India found that the PMC Bank had allegedly created fictitious accounts to hide over Rs 4,355 crore of loans extended to the almost-bankrupt HDIL.
According to RBI, the PMC Bank masked 44 problematic loan accounts, including of HDIL, by allegedly tampering with its core banking system, and the accounts were accessible only to limited staff members. The economic offences wing of Mumbai Police and the Enforcement Directorate later registered offences against senior officials of the bank and Wadhawans.