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HC allows Bhushan Steel ex-CFO to meet terminally ill mother

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 17-05-2019 18:03 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 17:51 IST
HC allows Bhushan Steel ex-CFO to meet terminally ill mother

The Delhi High Court Friday permitted Bhushan Steel's former chief financial officer and director Nittin Johari, arrested by the SFIO for alleged fraudulent activities, to meet his terminally ill mother by visiting the hospital for few hours in custody. The court said in view of the medical certificate of May 13, Johari is permitted to meet his mother so that a call can be taken as to whether she has to be put on a ventilator or not.

"In the facts and circumstances of this case, it is deemed appropriate that instead of granting interim bail, petitioner (Johari) is permitted to go to hospital in custody to meet his mother at his expense for few hours either tomorrow, that is, 18 May or on Monday, that is, May 20 during early morning hours for a maximum period of six hours so that he is brought back in custody before the sunset," Justice Sunil Gaur said. Johari was arrested by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on May 2 and is in judicial custody.

According to official sources, he was arrested for alleged fraudulent activities, including filing false documents with various banks. Sources had said that he was managing the affairs of Bhushan Steel and was looking after raising of funds from banks and financial institutions. He was also one of the signatories to the financial statements of the company till fiscal year 2016-17.

Johari, in his petition filed through advocates Arshdeep Singh and Gautam Khazanchi, sought interim bail on the ground that the medical condition of his 79-year-old mother who was diagnosed with lung cancer was deteriorating and she was admitted in ICU of a hospital here. The plea said an application for interim bail was filed before a duty magistrate on May 11, on medical grounds of his mother but it was rejected.

"The health of Johari's mother is deteriorating on a daily basis and if he is not granted interim bail immediately, he may not be able to meet his mother during her final hours... He is seeking the indulgence of this court for grant of interim bail only due to the critical terminal conditional of his mother on humanitarian grounds," it said. The bail plea was opposed by SFIO on the ground that he should have approached the designated court for the relief and it was not a fit case for invoking the jurisdiction of the high court directly.

The SFIO probe found that there were several alleged fraudulent practices at the company, including manipulations in the accounts and financial statements during the term of Johari. These included maintaining inflated inventories for availing enhanced working capital, the sources had said. They had said that Johari was a member of the committee of board of directors on borrowing, investment and loans along with former promoters Brij Bhushan Singal and Neeraj Singal. He was a whole time director of the company.


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