Sheela Gehlot, the wife of Raj Singh Gehlot, a promoter of the Ambience Group, was granted bail by a Delhi court on Tuesday. Sheela Gehlot is accused of money laundering after securing a term loan of Rs. 781 crores from Jammu & Kashmir Bank and distributing the money through her escrow account to 21 companies and four individuals.
The loan was allegedly secured under the guise of hotel building and development. Investigative agencies discovered, however, that the parties (21 companies and 4 individuals) to whom the money had been distributed were not linked to the project in any way and had given no services or goods to aid in its project implementation.
The funds received by the 25 non-contracting parties were allegedly transferred to M/s Raj Commercials and Agencies and M/s M & N Commercials, which companies then transferred the funds to Ambience Group companies, where they were used to settle Ambience Group companies' loans as well as meet the applicant's, her family's, and friends' expenses.
Sheela Gehlot, on the other hand, claimed that the project for which the money was borrowed was completed. However, the hotel's business suffered considerably as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, and banks were awarded 51 percent of the hotel's equity. According to Gehlot, the funds borrowed from the Jammu & Kashmir bank were used to repay the companies whose money was used to fund the project's construction and completion.
She also claimed that she had joined the investigation and cooperated with the investigators, which the prosecution did not dispute. Furthermore, the twin conditions of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 provide an exception for women, which allows them to be released on bail even if they do not meet the twin conditions.
The court granted her bail under the following terms after considering the accused's arguments and adjudging that she was a flight risk:
- That she would furnish a personal bond amount of Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs)
- That she would appear before the investigating agency/court when summoned as required by law.
- She will not engage in any of the acts that are being alleged against her in this case.
- She will not make any threats to the witness or tamper with the evidence.
The court also granted her three days to present the personal bond.