A court here on Tuesday granted bail to Sheela Gehlot, wife of Ambience Mall Group Promoter Raj Singh Gehlot, in connection with the money laundering case pertaining to the alleged multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Bank scam.
Sheela Gehlot has been accused of routing a Rs 781 crore loan of the bank through her escrow account to 21 companies and 4 individuals and using it to settle loans of Ambience Group companies and meet other expenses.
After the submissions of the petitioner’s counsel, the court noted that she is not a ‘flight risk’. In her plea, Sheela Gehlot referred to the twin conditions of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in which there is a provision that a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, may be released on bail.
Accordingly, the special judge of Patiala House Court granted her bail on certain conditions and a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh.
Conditions include not to indulge any kind of activities that are alleged against her in the present case, not threatening the witness or tampering with evidence, and appearing before the probe agency or court when she is called as per law.
In the plea, the petitioner claimed that due to the Covid-induced lockdown, the business of the hotel greatly suffered, due to which 51 per cent of the equity of the hotel was given to banks.
The petitioner also said that the funds borrowed from the J&K bank were being used to repay the companies whose money was used for raising construction and completion of the projects.
Raj Singh Gehlot, Chairman of the Ambience Group of Companies, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of the money laundering case in July 2021 is currently in jail.
It is worthwhile to mention that the accused persons had a Rs 1,272 crore luxury hotel project at Shahdara in the national capital.
In due course of the construction, a loan of Rs 810 crore was sanctioned and disbursed in favour of the group by a consortium of banks, led by J&K Bank which was purportedly used for other purposes.