New Delhi: In a money laundering case, Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, directors of Gurugram-based realty group M3M, were granted bail by the Supreme Court in response to a plea filed by them on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2023.
image source: The Economic Times
A Division Bench composed of Justices A.S. Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar had reserved the verdict on 11th September, 2023, but after hearing submissions of lawyers, it granted the relief to the directors of the firm.
Background of the case
Earlier, Basant and Pankaj Bansal were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged bribery case in connection with the money laundering case.
The Bansals then moved to the Supreme Court against the 20th July order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had dismissed their bail pleas, on the grounds that the case was quite serious in nature.
The money laundering and bribery case in which Basant and Pankaj Bansal had been arrested pertained to an FIR filed by the anti-corruption bureau of the Haryana Police in April, 2023, against Sudhir Parmar, a former special judge for the Enforcement Directorate and CBI cases who was earlier posted in Panchkula, including his nephew and a third M3M group director Roop Kumar Bansal.
The Supreme Court’s Response
The Supreme Court on 11th August had sought responses from the Centre and the ED on the bail plea filed by the accused directors against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order which had refused to release them on bail in the ED’s probe which was linked to an alleged bribery case against Sudhir Parmer, the former judge.
The ED responded that according to the FIR, they received reliable information that Sudhir Parmar was allegedly showing “favouritism” to the accused Roop Kumar Bansal, his brother Basant and Lalit Goyal, the owner of IREO, a real estate firm and the ED and CBI had cases pending against them in his court. Consequently, Parmar was suspended by the Punjab and Haryana High Court post the registration of the Anti-Corruption Bureau Case.
The ED has stated that it had collected incriminating evidence including bank statements, money trail, etc. in relation to the allegations mentioned in the FIR prior to making the arrests.
Based on the facts of the case and the evidence presented before the Division Bench, the Supreme Court proceeded to grant bail to Basant Bansal and Pankaj Bansal, the directors of the Gurugram-based realty firm M3M in the money laundering case.
Thus, the verdict raises interesting questions about the intricacies and the nature of the evidence collected by the ED as well as the allegations imposed against the Bansals and M3M Group, a prominent real estate firm based in Gurugram.