Court Extends Jignesh’s Police Custody till Mon
A sessions court in Mumbai extended the police custody of Jignesh Shah and Shreekant Javalgekar, both arrested for their alleged complicity in the .` 5,600-crore NSEL scam until May 19. Shah, promoter of Financial Technologies (FT), which has a 99.9% stake in NSEL, and Javalgekar, former group finance director at FT, were arrested by the Mumbai police on May 7 and remanded to police custody on May 8. The court had directed the police to present Shah and Javagekar before it on May 15. Lawyers for Shah and Javalgekar, Mahesh Jethmalani and Uday U Lalit, respectively, argued against further police custody for their clients on the ground that the police had found nothing to link them to the scam after seven days. An accused in police custody cannot apply for bail. But once the accused is remanded to judicial custody, he or she can apply for bail. However, the public prosecutor argued that the investigators had stumbled upon a transaction that could provide vital clues into the alleged role of Shah and Javalgekar in the scam, and thus further custodial interrogation was needed. The transaction pertains to a subsidiary of NSEL, Indian Bullion Markets Association, having run trades in maize and barley in 2010 on commodity bourse MCX, an FT-promoted entity, and having suffered a loss of .` 1.5 crore for alleged market making. MCX, at the instance of FT, recompensed IBMA for the trades, which the police claimed pointed to links among NSEL, IBMA and FT. This, the police said, was only the “tip of the iceberg”, and Shah and Javalgekar could not claim ignorance of what was going on at NSEL. However, lawyers for the accused contended that the mere existence of emails between Anjani Sinha, former MD of NSEL, and FT on the IBMA trades did not imply complicity of their clients. They said tax had been paid on the .` 1.5crore compensation to IBMA. Further, Ja- valgekar’s counsel held that he had no role to play in MCX when the said transactions took place, having been appointed MD of MCX in 2012. Jethmalani said Sinha and a few others accused in the scam at the relevant time were its masterminds and that the board of NSEL, comprising Shah and Javalgekar, had no role to play in it. “A Chinese Wall existed between the management led by Sinha and the NSEL board,” he said.
He said the police had arrested Shah and Javalgekar after Sinha recanted in a second affidavit last month and laid the blame squarely on Shah. “How can the police act on the second affidavit of the prime accused six months after he swore on oath and submitted before the Enforcement Directorate that he was solely responsible for the scam,” asked Jethmalani. To this the public prosecutor replied that Shah and Javalgekar were named in the police FIR of September 30 last year and Sinha’s recanting had no role to play in their arrest.
Public prosecutor says investigators have stumbled upon a transaction that could provide vital clues into the alleged role of Shah & Javalgekar in the scam