Dheeraj Wadhawan, developer of housing infrastructure company Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), has yet to pay Rs 24.10 lakh to Navi Mumbai police as a police protection charge as he was admitted to a private hospital, a special court was told on Thursday.
The court ordered Wadhawan to deposit the unpaid amount, stating that it would only hear his bail application upon production of a receipt for the payment.
Arrested in several cases, including the alleged Yes Bank fraud cases, Wadhawan has been in jail since 2020.
“Applicant Dheeraj Wadhawan (A10) must first deposit Rs.24,10,069/or any unpaid amount, with the police authority immediately and produce his receipt only after that he will be allowed to plead his claim for release on bail,” the court said. A Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) from Navi Mumbai appeared in court last week and said Rs 24,10,069 is the outstanding amount, pending payment from Wadhawan. He was allowed to undergo treatment in a private hospital by the special court and was asked to bear the costs of the treatment and the police personnel necessary to keep him during his stay in the hospital.
It was claimed that the expenses for police protection amounted to Rs 49.10 lakh. DCP told the court that Rs 25 lakh of the amount has been paid while the rest is unpaid till date.
The court noted that Wadhawan and his brother and co-defendant, Kapil Wadhawan, are currently incarcerated in Delhi in a separate case. “Even then, they both filed bail applications with instructions to their prominent lead lawyer. All this indicates on the face of it that they are able to afford the police escort costs, when they did not pay the same. Therefore, if they allowed to proceed with their applications without paying the unpaid dues of the police escort, that also when the police authorities knock on the doors of the court for the same, consider their applications… application for bail , will constitute an abuse of legal process,” Special Judge MG Deshpande said in his order.
The court said Wadhawan was not barred from pursuing his bail application. “…but neither can he do so by keeping unpaid huge sums owed to law enforcement authorities, which he had availed himself of through a court order,” the court said. He said the submissions made by the DCP are “genuine”.
In February this year, the court received a complaint from Taloja prison, where Wadhawan was lodged, stating that he had been admitted to a private hospital since April 2021, allegedly to avoid jail. The court then issued notices to the authorities. In April this year, the Bombay High Court cleared Wadhawan to undergo surgery at a private hospital.