Mumbai, Aug 22:
The Bombay High Court Friday granted conditional bail to FTIL promoter Jignesh Shah, who was arrested in the Rs.5,574 crore National Stock Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam.
Shah – who spent over three months in custody – will be freed on a bail amount of Rs.500,000 and the condition he appears before the Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing all Mondays and Thursdays till further orders.
While granting Shah’s bail plea, Justice A. M. Thipsay directed him to furnish a cash surety Friday and another solvent surety (guarantor) of a like amount within a fortnight.
Shah was arrested May 7 this year in connection with the NSEL fraud and subsequently charged with criminal misappropriation, forgery, criminal conspiracy, cheating, intimidation and other offences.
The police action followed a complaint by many of 13,000 investors, who lost their monies in the scam, that Shah had knowledge of the unfolding crisis in July 2013 at the NSEL.
However, Shah’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani argued before the court that Shah was unaware of the impending crises, and contended that it was escalated by some NSEL employees and brokers.
Shah contended that he was only a non-executive director of NSEL, which was part of his Financial Technologies Group, and hence, not involved in its routine operations.
The entire settlement crisis came to the fore July 31, 2013, when the NSEL was forced to suspend most of its trading activities.
After Shah’s arrest and subsequent investigation, the EOW Aug 4 filed a voluminous 9,300 page charge sheet detailing Shah’s alleged role in the crime.
In June, Shah’s bail plea before the Maharashtra Prevention of Investors Deposits Act Court had been dismissed on grounds that the probe was still underway and the accused was likely to tamper with evidence or influences witnesses in the case.
He then moved the Bombay High Court which went through the police charge sheet and granted him bail.