Money Laundering Case: Panchkula Court Grants Interim Bail to M3M Promoters


The Special Judge (PMLA), Panchkula, Haryana, granted interim bail to the promoters of M3M India Private Limited, namely Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, in relation to the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered based on the predicate offence filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Allegations were made that illegal gratification was given to a Special Judge to obtain favorable orders.

The Bansals appeared before the Special Court (PMLA), Panchkula, complying with the summons issued by the court on February 20, 2024, directing their appearance.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, along with Advocate Siddharth Bhardwaj, representing the Bansals, sought bail on the grounds that the Charge-sheet against them were filed without arrest and that they have cooperated during the investigation, thus should not be taken into custody as per the law laid down by the apex court.

The Special Public Prosecutor representing the Enforcement Directorate strongly opposed the submission of Advocate Aggarwal, arguing that the Bansals were indeed arrested during the investigation and cannot claim otherwise at the time of filing the chargesheet.

In response, Advocate Vijay Aggarwal argued that while the Bansals were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate, their arrest was declared illegal by the apex court, and therefore, the chargesheet was filed without arrest.

Aggarwal further informed the court that in a significant setback to the Enforcement Directorate, the Apex Court recently dismissed the review petition filed against its order declaring the arrest of M3M India Pvt. Ltd promoters as illegal, finding no error in the order.

The Bansals’ lawyer further contended that the Public Prosecutor had no right to oppose the bail application at this stage, citing various judgments by the apex court and other courts to support his arguments.

Aggarwal argued that the Bansals are in the constructive custody of the court, unable to move without its directions, and that the Enforcement Directorate cannot seek their arrest at this stage.

The Special Public Prosecutor maintained that there are grave allegations against the Bansals, and both conditions under Section 45 of PMLA should be satisfied.

Aggarwal rebutted, stating that at this stage, no prima facie view needs to be taken as it should be seen at the charge framing stage. Presently, the Bansals are before the Court in compliance with the summons, demonstrating their bona fides.

The Special Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application, arguing that interim bail relief is not provided under PMLA.

In response, Advocate Aggarwal mentioned that even though interim bail relief is not provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure, courts grant it, citing an apex court judgment and asserting that the right to interim bail derives directly from Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte