Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Is our system so toothless against white collared criminals? " A Serious Approach of Court

The Gujarat high court has expressed serious concerns over white-collared criminals getting away with bail on the pretext of repaying the dues after committing huge financial frauds and the inability of financial institutions to recover the siphoned off money. "Is the system so toothless that the financial institutions cannot recover the outstanding dues after such large-scale irregularity or scam is committed and noticed, that it has to permit such bargain?," Hon. Justice Rajesh H Shukla of Gujarat High Court observed, while denying bail to managing director of Vishal Exports, Dipak Mehta. Mehta is accused of duping several banks of crores of rupees.He sought bail and argued that the trial would prolong and if he is released, he can manage to repay the money. He also cited the global recession for the loss in business. But The court was not convinced that if released on bail, the accused can pay up the dues by engaging in the business. "The system is not at the mercy of a person like the accused for recovery of the outstanding dues, and if there is will, sufficient provision in the form of laws like the Securitisation Act has been enacted, which can be resorted to for recovery of the dues... in other words it would mean that a person like the accused can bargain for bail in the guise of repayment of the dues, which he is even otherwise under an obligation to repay," the court noted. Hon. Justice Mr. Rajesh Shukla also observed that with an increase in white-collar crimes, there has to be a fresh look if the criminal justice system and the rule of law are to prevail. "There has to be some kind of deterrent impact, otherwise it would lead to giving a wrong signal that one can easily get bail after commission of the crime and the shortcomings of the system like delay could be taken advantage of," he noted.

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