HC grants bail to Sukesh’s aide Pinky Irani in Rs 200-crore extortion case

The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to Pinky Irani, a close aide of alleged fraudster Sukesh Chandrasekhar, in a Rs 200 crore extortion case.

The high court gave the relief to the woman on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties of the like amount.

“The applicant (Irani) shall under no circumstances leave India without prior permission of the court concerned. She shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat, or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case. She shall provide her mobile number to the concerned police officer at Police Station Special Cell,” Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said, spelling out the conditions for bail.

Mumbai-based Irani has been in custody since her arrest on November 30, 2022 by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police.

While granting bail, the high court said there was nothing on the record about the criminal antecedents of Irani. It also took into consideration that she was a 52-year-old woman who was in custody since November last year.

“This court considers that the allegations are required to be tested during the trial to meet the requisite of MCOCA. It is also a matter of trial that whether money received by the petitioner (Irani) was for gaining undue economic advantage, as the case of defence is that this money was transferred for distributing gifts to the celebrities,” it said.

The court said it is a settled proposition that at the stage of bail it cannot meticulously examine the evidence and conduct a mini trial.

“The findings at this stage are tentative in nature and do not affect the merits of the case. The case at this stage has to be seen from the angle of prima facie view,” it said.

The EOW, in its supplementary charge sheet filed before a trial court, has alleged Irani introduced Chandrasekhar to Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez and was instrumental in disposing of the Rs 200 crore extorted by him.

The charge sheet alleged Irani used to portray Chandrasekhar as a business tycoon and was instrumental in facilitating his meetings with certain Bollywood personalities.

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It said the police recorded the statements of several people, including Bollywood actors Fernandez and Nora Fatehi.

Chandrasekhar, who is currently in jail, is accused of cheating many people, including high-profile individuals such as former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.

Police alleged that Chandrasekhar and his associates took money from Aditi after posing as government officials and promising to secure bail for her husband who was in jail in a money laundering case.

Chandrasekhar persuaded Aditi to transfer the money while impersonating a central government official over a spoof call when he was lodged in Rohini jail and promised to manage bail for her husband, it alleged.

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