Abhishek Verma, wife granted bail but will remain in jail



New Delhi:Businessman Abhishek Verma and his wife, arrested in various cases, were today granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) failed to file a charge sheet against them.

However, Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Maria Neascu, would remain in jail under judicial custody as they are yet to secure bail in a case lodged against them by the CBI under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gautam Manan granted bail to Verma and his wife on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of the like amount observing that the ED has failed to file charge sheet against the couple within the stipulated 60 days period.

"In view of the facts and circumstances, the accused (Verma and Anca) are granted bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount," the court said after ED's prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta said that the agency would not file charge sheet against them on Saturday.

After granting bail to the accused, the court remanded them in judicial custody till November 2 after they said that they would not furnish the bail bond today.

The ED had arrested the couple after they had moved an application to surrender in the money laundering case against them for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms dealing firm to keep it out of the Indian government's blacklist.

Verma and his wife, who were arrested in August, are also accused in a corruption case and a forgery case lodged by the CBI. They have been granted bail in both the cases by the court but they have not furnished the bail bonds.

Verma is also an accused in the Naval war room leak case.

During the day, Verma and Anca were also produced before a CBI court which extended their judicial custody till November 2 in connection with the corruption and forgery case lodged against them.

Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Jain also issued notice to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the third battalion of the Delhi Armed Police to file his reply on a plea by Anca, seeking a separate van to ferry her between jail and court due to alleged threats of extortion against her.

The court had earlier asked the DCP to file a report by today but as it was not submitted, it asked the official to file the same by November 2. The third battalion of Delhi Armed Police is responsible for ferrying undertrial prisoners between various courts and jails.

Anca, in her plea, has alleged that one of the women undertrials Rashmi, wife of Hari Kishan Sharma who is key accused in the Rs 5.25 crore heist that took place recently in Defence Colony here, was making extortion threats to her.

She had also alleged that she has extortion demands from one Shivani, a murder accused.

Verma and his wife were earlier granted bail in a corruption case for allegedly receiving USD 5,30,000 from Rheinmetall Air Defence AG for using their influence to stall the firm's blacklisting by the government here after the agency had failed to file its charge sheet against them.

Similarly, they were granted bail in the forgery case lodged on a complaint by Union Minister Ajay Maken after the charge sheet was not filed against them within the stipulated 60 days period.

PTI