In an embarrassment for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan in the Yes Bank fraud case after the probe agency failed to file its chargesheet within the mandatory 60-day period.
Granting them 'default' bail, Justice Bharati Dangre directed the Wadhawan brothers to surrender their passports and deposit Rs 1 lakh each as surety. However, the Wadhawans - who were nabbed from Mahabaleshwar hill station on April 26 by the Central Bureau of Investigation and arrested nearly three weeks later by the ED will not be able to walk out of jail immediately as they are booked separately by the CBI in the same case.
Justice Dangre declined the plea by the Additional Solicitor-General Anil Singh to stay the bail order for two weeks, saying that the settled legal position is that once the right of default bail is due, an accused cannot be kept in custody for even a day.
The Wadhawan brothers moved the Bombay High Court seeking bail on grounds that the ED failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated 60-day period after the ED arrested them on money-laundering charges on May 14.
The ED filed its chargesheet a day after the deadline - on July 15 - against the Wadhawan siblings, Yes Bank Founder Rana Kapoor, his wife Bindu Kapoor and their daughters Roshni and Rekha, besides others.
The ED launched its probe in the case after the CBI filed its FIR in the case on March 7, before the lockdown, over dubious loans granted by the Yes Bank and alleged quid pro quo between Kapoor and the Wadhawans.