Delhi HC grants bail to Avtar Singh Kocchar in PMLA, MCOCA case
New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Avtar Singh Kocchar in both the money laundering and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) cases related to the alleged Rs 200 crore scam involving Sukesh Chandrasekhar.
The primary allegation levelled against Kocchar, who was in custody for the past two years, was that he orchestrated hawala operations at the behest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar.
However, it was argued that there is no independent evidence/document to establish this fact.
Kochar, aged 69, is one of the accused in the MCOCA case registered by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) based on a complaint filed by Aditi Singh, alleging the extortion of Rs 200 crore.
The Delhi Police had arrested Chandrasekhar and other accused individuals, and a charge sheet was filed. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted its own investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
After taking cognisance of the ED’s charge sheet, a special court in New Delhi issued summons to celebrities including Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi.
Kocchar argued that there is no independent material against him except confessionary statements procured from him through coercion and disclosure statements of other co-accused which have been retracted.
It was further submitted that Kocchar has not been named in the confessionary statements of other co-accused. The main argument was based around the mandates of Section 3 of MCOCA, for which it is essential that there is a visible and direct nexus with the offence committed by the organised crime syndicate.
It was claimed that Kocchar wasn’t aware that Chandrasekhar had planned to extort money from the complainant. While granting bail, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma considered factors such as his period of custody, age, and medical conditions.
The judge imposed certain conditions, including the requirement for Kocchar to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and two surety bonds of a similar amount in each case.
The court also mandated that the accused obtain prior permission from the court before leaving the country, refrain from influencing any witnesses directly or indirectly, and provide his phone number to the EOW Investigating Officer while marking his presence in the EOW office.