Mumbai: Industrialist Nihal Garware refused medical bail in J&K Bank fraud case

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A special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Saturday rejected the medical bail application of industrialist Nihal Garware in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir Bank fraud case.

The court noted that as Garware, 55, has been suffering from multiple health issues throughout his life and managed to live with the same, his sickness does not qualify to grant him relief under the PMLA.

The court said the disease cited by Garware is incurable and one has to adjust his lifestyle by managing stress, eating healthy food and proper exercise. If the restrictions are followed properly, one can live with the disease without turning it into any fatal complications, it added.

The court said the applicant requires timely medical attendance for the concerned illness and he can be referred to the state-run JJ Hospital or civic-run KEM Hospital if the situation warranted the same.

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“For that, the court has already permitted the applicant for home cooked food, which can be adjusted more by taking advice of doctors including panel doctors of state-run JJ Hospital. Even in order to manage stress in such a situation, the J.J. Hospital can refer the applicant to a Psychiatrist. But all this cannot be a ground for bail in this serious offence,” special judge MG Deshpande noted in his order.

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Garware was involved in the purchase of a property, sized at over 40,000 square feet, in Bandra-Kurla Complex at at Rs 26,000 per square feet for the zonal office of Jammu and Kashmir Bank. The deal of Rs 172 crore allegedly took place at an exorbitant price despite there being a lower bidder and Garware received a kickback of nearly Rs 13 crore from the seller builder. According to the central agency, Garware allegedly layered and projected the money as untainted.

“The offence of money laundering is very serious from the point of its gravity and magnitude,” the Bench said, adding that Garware’s bail plea on merits was already rejected by the special court.

Judge Deshpande said the medical board formed by JJ Hospital had opined that he can treated as an OPD patient in KEM hospital and can be referred to psychiatrist who can advise him on stress management

The court noted that it cannot be ignored that with various diseases and health issues, Garware has travelled abroad several times for work and has managed to get treatment, surgeries, etc. during his stay there.

“Further complications turning it to fatal, can be avoided by timely medical treatment with healthy food. It is pertinent to note that this court has already taken abundant care of the applicant. The applicant can take advice from doctors as to which exercise suits him in jail and how to manage stress inside the jail but cannot be released on bail,” it added.



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