Delhi excise case: HC grants bail to businessman Reddy due to his medical condition

The court clarified that the order was passed in view of the accused’s medical condition without going into the merits of the case, and asked him not to travel without permission or tamper with evidence

Delhi HC, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Reddy, Delhi excise case
The judge said Reddy was in a "bad state" and qualified as "sick/infirm" in order to be released on bail in the money laundering case. (Representational image)

Asserting that the sick or infirm have the right to adequate and effective treatment, the Delhi High Court granted bail to businessman P Sarath Chandra Reddy on medical grounds in a money laundering case related to the Delhi government’s alleged excise scam.

Although “good basic treatment” can be given to the accused in jail, the court cannot expect specialised treatment and monitoring which is required in the present case, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said on Monday (May 9).

The judge said Reddy was in a “bad state” and qualified as “sick/infirm” in order to be released on bail in the money laundering case, and there was no material on record to show that he was a flight risk.

Also read: Delhi liquor policy: Who’s right, who’s wrong, and how far the existing evidence goes

The court clarified that the order was passed in view of the accused’s medical condition without going into the merits of the case, and asked him not to travel without permission or tamper with evidence.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the Enforcement Directorate, said the law on admitting an accused on bail on the grounds of being sick or infirm was well settled, and an appropriate order may be passed if the court was satisfied with the medical record in the present case.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Reddy, said medical records showed he was “sick and infirm” and was entitled to bail under Section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Court’s order

“The petitioner is admitted to bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh) with two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court,” the court said in its May 8 order.

“It is also a settled proposition that right to life is a facet of Fundamental Right enshrined by the Constitution. Right to live with dignity includes right to live a healthy life. The person who is sick or infirm has a right to have adequate and effective treatment. Though jails and designated hospitals provide good basic treatment, we cannot expect them to provide specialised treatment and monitoring as required in the present case,” the court said.

Also read: ED arrests businessmen Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally in the Delhi liquor policy case

It clarified that the order was passed in view of the medical condition of the petitioner and therefore shall not be taken as a precedent.

The court also asked Reddy to surrender his passport, appear before the investigation officer whenever asked, and keep his mobile phone in working condition.

Reddy was arrested by ED in November last year

Reddy, whole-time director and promoter of Aurobindo Pharma, was arrested by the ED in November last year. He was earlier granted interim bail by the trial court.

The ED is investigating alleged irregularities in the implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy of the Delhi government. The money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR.

According to the CBI and the ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to licence holders. The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

(With inputs from agencies)

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