PNB fraud case
First application was rejected in March last
The special CBI court yesterday heard Rajesh Jindal, general manager (credit) of Punjab National Bank's second bail application, which he filed before the court on May 22.
The plea was filed on the grounds that the court has not taken cognisance of him as an accused even after the chargesheet has been filed.
The chargesheet was filed on May 14 by the CBI. The court is yet to take cognisance of all the accused named in the chargesheet. Defence advocate for Jindal submitted before the court that since the court is yet to take cognisance of Jindal, it does not have jurisdiction to remand him under judicial custody. He contended that it amounts to illegal detention of his client. He said Jindal has the right to liberty under Section 167 (2) under which a magistrate may authorise detention of a person for 15 days, 60 days or 90 days, depending on the type of offence. The second bail plea was filed 91 days after he was remanded in police custody.
The CBI special public prosecutor, A. Limosin however contended that once chargesheet has been filed, a default bail or statutory bail does not arise in present case as Jindal has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and he will have to apply for regular bail. He said that the court has a right to extend his custody.
Since Jindal is a public servant as a serving GM of PNB, sanction is required to prosecute him under the Prevention of Corruption Act. But the CBI is yet to obtain sanction. Prosecution argued that even if sanction has not been obtained, it is only an enabling provision and filing of the chargesheet is enough compliance.
Rajesh Jindal was then assistant general manager in the Brady House branch of PNB and now a general manager (credit) in the head office of the bank in New Delhi. Opposing his first bail plea, the CBI had said that the modus operandi of the fraud, of issuing Letters of Understanding (LoUs) dated back to the time when Jindal was in charge, and that he might tamper with evidence if let out on bail. His bail application had been rejected by the court.
He had been arrested on February 20 this year, and has been in custody ever since.