Chennai, July 8 (UNI) The Madras High court today denied anticipatory bail to the Director of an export company wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with smuggling and export of rice meant for PDS in Puducherry.
Mr Justice R Regupathy dismissed the anticipatory bail application of R Balagopal, stating that the petitioner, who is cited as fifth accused in the case, has committed a grave and unforgivable offence of smuggling rice meant for the poor people.
The judge said the CBI had submitted that the petitioner was a habitual offender and was not entitled for anticipatory bail.
The CBI said the accused, Director of Ananthammal Kasi Exporters Private Ltd had illegally procured PDS rice from various places in Tamil Nadu and stored them in godowns in Puducherry for the purpose of exporting it to foreign countries.
He was an habitual offender and was involved in a smililar case in Tirunelveli District. He was absconding and evading interrogation by the CBI, the CBI had said.
The petitioner contended that he had borrowed a loan from the ICICI Bank to the tune of Rs five crore by pledging the stocks.
Since, he had not repaid the loan, the bank had sold the stock of 9,659 mt of rice to PRS traders. When the company was moving the stock it was seized, as it was meant to be smuggled PDS rice, he said.
Rejecting this contention, the CBI said being the Director of the company, Balagopal was aware of the illegal procurement of PDS rice by the accused company by availing warehouse receipt based loan from the ICICI bank to the tune of Rs 10 crore.
The accused had to be thoroughly interrogated to know the sources of illegal procurement of PDS rice, the CBI said, and prayed that his anticipatory bail petition be dismissed.
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