With the consent, heard finally
Perused the case diary.
This is first application filed under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. for grant of anticipatory bail to the applicant, as he is apprehending his arrest in connection with Crime No.RC114(E)/2016/BSFB registered at Police Station- CBI, New Delhi for offences punishable under Sections 120-B, 409,420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC alongwith Sections 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Prosecution story, in brief is that on 28.12.2016, on the basis of a written complaint dated 30.09.2016 made by Rohit Patel, Dy. General Manager, E-Dena Bank, Zonal Office, Bhopal, a criminal case bearing No.RC114(E)/2016/BSFB was registered by the CBI, New Delhi against M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. through its directors and other co-accused persons for the offences punishable under Sections 120-B, 409, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC alongwith Sections 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. It is alleged against the applicant that he being the Manager of E-Dena Bank, Branch South Tukoganj, Indore, in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy with other co-accused persons disbursed 11 packing credits total amounting to appropriately Rs.27.00 crores in favour of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. He did not comply with the condition that preshipment (packing credit) advances should be granted only against the production of letter of credit/firm order, which should be verified and disbursement of the funds should be made directly to the supplier. It is further alleged against him that he disbursed the PC funds to the CC account of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd., which were further allowed to be transferred into the account of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. maintained with State Bank of India, P.Y. Road and State Bank of India, Jaora and part of the PC funds were also transferred to the account of M/s Narayan Trading Co. maintained with Axis Bank and the Axis commodity pool account respectively. As per the complaint, accused persons caused wrongful loss to the bank to the tune of Rs.35.19 crores plus interest thereof showing bogus purchases in the name of bogus concerns whose properties were neither in existence nor in the name of various employees of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd.
Learned counsel for the applicant submits that applicant was not named in the FIR and he has been impleaded as one of the accused alongwith another bank official Jayant Bapat, the then Chief Manager of EDena Bank, Branch South Tukoganj, Indore. It is an admitted fact that the cash cum PC limit in favour of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. was sanctioned prior to the posting of the applicant as the Manager of the aforesaid branch of the bank. All the 11 PC were disbursed only when the limit was available to the company, as per the prevailing practice before joining of the applicant at the aforesaid branch. The limit sanctioned in favour of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. was consortium of three banks i.e. State Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Dena Bank wherein State Bank of India was the lead bank and there was no restrictions to inter transfer the funds with the consortium banks and it was beyond the control of the applicant to restrict the company from making further transactions. Applicant has participated in the investigation and was not arrested by the CBI during the investigation and now the charge-sheet has been filed against him, then there is no meaning of his arrest at this stage. He further submits that as it is nowhere alleged against the applicant that he prepared any forged documents with an intent to cheat the bank therefore, offences punishable under Sections 467 and 468 of IPC are not made out against him. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Aman Preet Singh vs. CBI Through Director, 2021 SCC Online SC 941 and Siddharth vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & another, 2022 (1) SCC 676 has held that if the accused has not been arrested during investigation and he has cooperated during the investigation, then his arrest is not required. Learned counsel for the applicant has also placed reliance on the judgement of the Delhi High Court in the case of Court on its own motion vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2004 (72) DRJ 629. The case is based on documentary evidence and the applicant's custodial interrogation/trial is no more required and therefore, in the aforesaid circumstances, applicant is entitled for grant of anticipatory bail.
Per contra, learned counsel for the non-applicant has opposed the application referring to the written objections filed in the matter and submits that applicant in furtherance to a criminal conspiracy with other co-accused persons abusing his official position disbursed 11 packing credits amounting to approximately Rs.27.00 crores in favour of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd.. He did not comply with the condition that pre-shipment and post-shipment advances should be granted only against the production of letter of credit/firm order which should be verified and disbursement of fund should be made directly to the supplier to ensure utilization of credit whereas the applicant allowed to utilize the credit in cash by the other co-accused firm.Applicant also disbursed the PC fund to the CC account of M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd., which were further allowed to be transferred into the account of M/s Narayan Trading Co. Applicant has also violated the instruction manual of E-Dena Bank by way of other acts which are contrary to the bank manual and therefore, he may not be protected against arrest.
Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the case diary.
Admittedly, the PC limit was sanctioned to M/s Ambika Solvex Ltd. prior to the joining of the applicant as the Manager on 10.09.2011 and he was posted there from 15.09.2011 till 07.07.2012 at the aforesaid branch of E-Dena Bank. His name was not mentioned in the FIR and has been implicated in the matter during investigation. He participated and cooperated in the investigation. He was neither arrested during investigation nor produced in custody at the time of filing of charge-sheet. In the aforesaid circumstances, taking into consideration the arguments advanced by learned counsel for the applicant and also the observations made by the Apex Court in the case of Ama
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n Preet Singh (supra) and Siddharth (supra), without expressing any opinion on merits of the matter, this application is allowed. It is directed that in the event of arrest of the applicant, he shall be enlarged on anticipatory bail upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty thousand only) with one solvent surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer for his appearance before the Trial Court on all dates and for complying with the conditions enumerated under sub-section (2) of Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This application is allowed and stands disposed of. Certified copy, as per Rules