Hyderabad businessman, Satish Sana Babu was on Monday granted bail by a special court in Delhi in a money laundering case which involved controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
The court observed that the businessman has been “assisting the agency since his arrest in 2017” and that there was nothing on record to show that he “interfered with the investigation all this time in any manner except for the allegation that he did not cooperate in the investigation”.
Babu was the prime witness in a corruption case against former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana. Sana’s allegations against Asthana last year had triggered a war within the CBI, particularly between then Director Alok Verma and Asthana.
“In view of the facts as they are, since Moin Akhtar Qureshi has already been granted bail and the role of the applicant is no graver than his role in the case, the application of accused Satish Sana Babu seeking bail is allowed,” said Special Judge Bhardwaj. The judge also directed the Babu to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and surety of the same amount.
During the hearing, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that Babu made payments to Qureshi to influence public servants, and, during the course of his custodial interrogation, he was evasive and non-cooperative, as a result of which, investigation on crucial aspects of the case could not be completed.
Babu, on the other hand filed the application seeking bail on the grounds of parity (since co-accused Moin Akhtar Qureshi was granted bail), violation of legal provisions while converting his status from a witness to accused, no risk of him absconding, and no threat of tampering with evidence.
Judge Bhardwaj agreed with Babu’s counsel while granting bail and said, “The ground of parity being pleaded by the counsel for the accused, therefore is the most relevant factor as being argued by Senior Counsel KPS Tulsi and in his words the bridegroom (Moin Akhtar Qureshi) has already been granted bail, the applicant (Babu) was merely a barati (wedding procession member)”.