Delhi Excise ‘Scam’ case: Court Refuses to extend Mahendru’s Interim Bail

A city court on Friday refused to extend any further

the interim bail granted to liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru, arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, saying it cannot ignore the fact that he is an accused in a “serious case”.

Special Judge M K Nagpal had granted interim bail to Mahendru, the managing director of liquor distributor Indospirit, on account of his wife’s surgery.

“It cannot be ignored that the applicant is an accused in a serious case of money laundering,” the judge said.

The court said during his custody of 16 months, Mahendru has been out on interim bail on one ground or the other for around five months.

“Simply because some post surgery complications have arisen, which can certainly be managed through medication, the interim bail of applicant cannot be extended again and again and for the purpose of taking care of his wife only,” the judge said.

He added, “Further, the interim bail of applicant has already been extended at different times and for different durations for or in connection with the above surgery and he has already availed interim bail for a period of around 43 days for the said purpose and it was despite the fact that this court had made it clear in the very first order dated January 5, 2024 that no request for extension of interim bail of applicant shall be entertained by the court.”

The judge said simply because Mahendru’s wife has to undergo some further medication or tests or may require re-hospitalisation in future, he cannot be kept on interim bail for an indefinite period as the said needs and requirements can well be taken care of by his parents or their other relatives.

Further, the court has also to keep in mind that the interim bail of an accused is not extended again and again so as to be converted into regular bail, the judge said.

“Again, on considering the alleged grounds for extension of interim bail being sought by the applicant and the documents produced in support thereof, this court also gets a feeling that the above treatment and tests of his wife have unnecessarily been delayed and stretched so as to seek further extension of interim bail by the applicant and hence, this court is of considered view that no further extension of interim bail to him is warranted in light of the above facts and record,” the judge said.

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Regarding the accused’s own medical condition and proposed knee surgery, the judge said the court will have to take a call separately to see if there was any actual requirement of grant of interim bail to him.

“Hence, keeping in view entirety of facts and circumstances, no ground is made out for further extension of interim bail of the applicant/accused Sameer Mahandru and therefore, the present application is dismissed and the accused is being directed to surrender in jail concerned by 5 PM tomorrow,” the judge said.

The judge had granted interim bail to Mahendru in the case related to alleged corruption and irregularities in formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

According to the prosecution, Mahendru was one of the major beneficiaries of the alleged violations in the excise policy as he was not only running an alcoholic beverages manufacturing unit but was also given a wholesale licence and some retail licences in the name of his relatives.

Because of the alleged irregularities and violations, Mahendru earned a profit of around Rs 50 crore, the prosecution claimed.

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