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Bhushan steel case: Aarti Singal gets bail within 7-days of arrest

Special Court in Delhi has granted bail to Aarti Singal, the former Director of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL) in the fraud case of Rs 5,500 crores.

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Special Court in Delhi has granted bail to Aarti Singal, the former Director of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL) in the fraud case of Rs 5,500 crores.
The case is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
Singal was arrested by SFIO on March 21, 2022 and was produced before the Special Court in Dwarka on March 22, 2022.
Special Judge Sumit Das on March 28, while passing the order, said that no independent role of Aarti Singhal has been brought out on record by SFIO except that she has, jointly with her husband, signed cheques or issued instructions to the bank for issuance of Demand Draft (DD).
The court also observed that Aarti Singal deserves to be granted the benefit of special status to woman as provided under provisions of Section 437 and Section 212(6) of the Companies Act, 2013 taking into consideration her role of being a passive woman director is concerned.
Taking into consideration the enabling provision to Section 212(6) of the Companies Act providing beneficial treatments to the women, the role of Aarti Singal and the order of the Supreme Court directing no coercive steps to be taken against three other accused persons in the case and being of the opinion that accused satisfies the triple test laid down for the grant of bail, the court granted bail to Aarti on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,00,000 with one surety in the like amount.
In addition, the court also imposed certain conditions on Aarti Singal including a compulsory visit to the office of SFIO daily for the next 20 working days and subsequently for the next two weeks, a visit to SFIO Office thrice and thereafter twice for the next two weeks.
Aarti Singal was represented by her counsels' Advocate Vijay Aggarwal and Advocate Yash Agrawal.
They argued that Aarti Singal is a housewife and a senior citizen aged 61 years and was not involved in the day-to-day affairs of the company.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal further argued that Aarti Singal used to merely sign the documents and cheques besides acting as a signatory in the Banks, which was done on the advice of the professionals appointed by the Company and not on her own accord as she, being a housewife, was having no knowledge about the affairs of the company.
Further, Advocate Vijay Aggarwal also submitted that the Supreme Court had directed SFIO not to take any coercive steps against Sanjay Singal, husband of Aarti Singal and the other two co-accused in the case in question investigated by SFIO.
Aggarwal addressed the court at length, regarding the special status granted to women on the basis of the age-old principle of 'chivalry', that was afforded to women as a result of their special status in society, fostered by virtue of the principles of respect and care for the family.
Lawyers further argued that even in cases where allegations are of grave nature, the courts have been granting bail to women in view of the special status conferred upon them by the Legislature.
Furthermore, it was also highlighted to the court that the company is already under liquidator and the documents of the company are in possession of the liquidator.
"With regard to the apprehension of influencing witnesses, it was argued that there has been no allegation of accused influencing witnesses and the statements of witnesses have already been recorded by SFIO," submitted Aggarwal.
SFIO, represented by Advocate Anupam Sharma and Advocate Satish Aggarwala, argued that Aarti Singal is involved in a mammoth fraud in which public interest is involved and that a huge amount of sums have been siphoned off through shell companies under the signature of Aarti Singal when she was a director and signatory of the company.
It was further argued by Counsels for SFIO that the fact of Aarti Singal merely being a woman cannot absolve her from the twin conditions for grant of bail as provided under Section 212(6) of the Companies Act.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 29 2022 | 10:45 AM IST

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