DHFL Bank Fraud Case: Delhi HC Seeks Status Status Report on Dheeraj Wadhawan’s Bail Plea

Dheeraj Wadhawan

 The Delhi High Court has sought a status report on the bail plea of Dheeraj Wadhawan, who is seeking bail on medical grounds. His bail plea had previously been dismissed by the trial court.

A vacation bench of Justice Vikas Mahajan directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a status report on the plea and listed the matter for hearing on June 10.

Advocate Anupam S. Sharma appeared for the CBI and opposed the bail application. Wadhawan’s earlier bail plea was withdrawn from the Delhi High Court on May 17. He is an accused in a CBI case related to the DHFL multi-crore bank loan fraud case.

Trial Court Denied Bail

Wadhawan approached the High Court after the trial court denied him bail. His bail plea has been dismissed twice by the trial court. The Rouse Avenue court’s Special Judge A. K. Sarpal dismissed his bail application on May 10 on the grounds of maintainability. The court also directed the CBI to arrest him after May 11 and produce him before the CBI court as per the Supreme Court’s direction passed on January 24.

Conditions for Fresh Bail Application

While rejecting the bail application, the CBI Court at Rouse Avenue stated that the accused is at liberty to move a fresh bail application after his arrest and once he is in the custody of the court. At that time, his request for interim bail on medical grounds or regular bail, if moved, will be considered.

However, the bail application was dismissed by the court after his arrest. The trial court also noted that, at this stage, the Supreme Court’s order of January 24, 2024, must be complied with to take the accused into physical custody.

Medical Grounds

Previously, he had been granted protection by the Bombay High Court until May 11 on medical grounds. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery. He was receiving treatment at his home after discharge from the hospital before his arrest.

Setback from Supreme Court

On January 24, the Supreme Court set aside a Delhi High Court order granting statutory bail to former Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj Wadhawan in connection with a multi-crore rupees bank loan scam case. The apex court had canceled the bail granted to the Wadhawan brothers, stating that the High Court and trial court had erred in providing default bail to them.

“We have no hesitation that the chargesheet having been filed and cognizance being taken in due time, respondents could not have claimed statutory bail as a right. The High Court and lower court greatly erred. Trial court to hear afresh on regular bail. Appeals allowed accordingly,” the bench said while pronouncing the order.

The top court had set aside the findings of the High Court and the trial court, stating the Wadhawan brothers cannot claim the statutory right of default bail on the ground that the investigation is pending against other accused.

In this case, the CBI had filed the chargesheet on the 88th day after the registration of the FIR, and the trial court granted default bail to them, which the Delhi High Court upheld. The chargesheet was filed on October 15, 2022, and cognizance was taken. The trial court granted bail to them, noting that the chargesheet filed by the CBI was incomplete.

On July 19, 2023, they were arrested in this case. The FIR in the case was based on a complaint made by the Union Bank of India.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte