After a status report was filed by the Delhi police and Economic Offences Wing regarding the bail granted to the Unitech promoters namely, Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra, exercise of judicial power along with breach of judicial discipline by the Delhi High Court and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate was brought before the Supreme Court. Irrespective of the strict denial of bail by the Supreme Court the accused were granted liberty.
Background of the Case
Initially on 31st July, 2015 an FIR was registered against the promoters of Unitech by the home buyers. The sessions judge through an order dated 9th August, 2017 denied the bail applied by the accused. Interim bail was also dismissed by the High Court on 11th August, 2017. In the meanwhile a charge-sheet was filed by the Economic Offences Wing before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala house court under sections 406, section 420 and section 409 read along with Section 120B of The Indian Penal Code on 21st September, 2017. The accused then applied for a Special Leave Petition in Supreme Court against the High Court’s order. The court through an order dated 30th October, 2017 agreed to grant bail subject to a few conditions. Primarily they had to deposit a sum of Rs. 750 Crores in the Registry of the Supreme Courtby 31st December, 2017 and secondly they were not allowed to dissolve Unitech’s assets for collection of the amount. The Economic Offences Wing then on 30th August, 2018 and 7thJanuary, 2019 filed two supplementary charge-sheets. An application was filed then on 14th August, 2020 in Supreme Court by the accused to grant them bail based on the fact that they had complied by submissions of 30th October, 2017. However the bail was yet again denied for two major reasons primarily irrespective of the fact that extra amount was submitted when only Rs750 crore was ordered the deposit was not complied by the last date and secondly they had dissolved companies assets to gather the amount. The court also further noted that through the report dated 18th December, 2019 a forensic audit was conducted and they gave a warrant to investigate serious allegations like money laundering and siphoning of money to offshore accounts. During that time the court ordered that the management of the company shall be taken by them and handed over to a board assigned by the Union of India.
Since a charge-sheet had then been filed they approached the Delhi High Court for permission to be granted the liberty to approach trial court and withdraw the application which the high court agreed to. The Metropolitan Magistrate received an application from Ajay Chandra for bail stating medical reason that his wife had been tested positive for Covid-19. The court granted him interim bail through an order dated 23rd October, 2020 and an interim medical bail was also granted to Sanjay Chandra on 3rd December, 2020. Lastly on 13th January, 2021 the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate granted bail to the accused.
On 18th March, 2021 (Thursday) the Supreme Court was enraged with the fact that despite their order in August 2020 the accused were granted bail even though serious crimes like money laundering and siphoning of money to offshore accounts were involved and to add on the money belonged to the home buyers. The bench consisting of Justice D.Y Chandrachud and M.R. Shah also sent a notice to the accused directing them to surrender themselves to Tihar jail by 22ndMarch as they had stayed grant on bail. The High Court and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for going over Supreme Court’s decision were pulled up too.