The Delhi High Court granted interim bail to Hari Om Rai, Managing Director of Lava International Ltd. in a money laundering case saying that the delicate balance between life and death in cardiac emergencies underscores the importance of prioritization.

The Court was dealing with a bail application filed by Rai under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) read with Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) seeking grant of bail. He also filed an application under Section 482 CrPC seeking interim bail on medical grounds.

A Single Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed, “The delicate balance between life and death in cardiac emergencies underscores the importance for prioritization and specialized care required in such cases, for mitigating the profound risks posed by these medical conditions. Each passing moment in the face of cardiac distress is fraught with the peril of irreversible harm, and in case of any eventuality that may occur in applicant not getting proper and specialised treatment, this Court will have to bear the weight of regret.”

The Bench said that though Rai has been referred to jail referral hospital on multiple occasions, there is delay in administering required treatment to him and one such example is the fact that the MRI of his spine has been scheduled, after a period of one and a half year i.e., in the year 2025.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared on behalf of the petitioner or applicant/Rai while ASG S.V. Raju appeared on behalf of the respondent/Enforcement Directorate.

Brief Facts -

The senior counsel for the petitioner/applicant argued that Rai was arrested in PMLA case in October last year and was seeking release on interim bail, on medical grounds. It was argued that a bare perusal of the medical reports of Rai make it apparent that he has a chronic history of high triglycerides, cholesterol, and related issues concerning his heart. Even prior to his arrest, he was consulting his doctors for treatments/procedures to mitigate his susceptibility to a stroke, heart attack, and acute inflammation of the pancreas.

He was taken to jail dispensary several times complaining shortness of breath, chest pains, etc. and hence, he required external cardiology, gastroenterology, and other specialist reviews and treatment. It was further submitted that his medical condition deteriorated severely while in judicial custody and his health be given primacy as it is his fundamental right to be given adequate and effective treatment by the doctors of his choice, in whom he reposes trust and confidence.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of the counsel noted, “In this case, the applicant is aged about 57 years, who is admittedly suffering from heart related issues including angina and has been advised coronary angiography, and the same is clearly discernible from all the medical reports filed by the jail Superintendent himself. In this Court‟s opinion, even otherwise, the life threatening nature of coronary artery disease or cardiac related issues cannot be equated with other category of illnesses. Such medical conditions have the potential to precipitate life-threatening events at any moment, and thus, they stand unparalleled in their urgency and criticality.”

The Court further said that Rai’s health condition is of such nature that it would fall within the category of ‘sick’ under Section 45 of PMLA and he must be given an opportunity to get himself treated in the hospital of his choice.

Accordingly, the High Court granted interim bail of three months to the accused and disposed of the application.

Cause Title- Hari Om Rai v. Directorate of Enforcement (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:1202)


Petitioner: Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, Advocates Abhay Raj Varma, Arjun Rekhi, P. Rathi, Namisha, and Sanskriti S. Gupta.

Respondent: ASG S.V. Raju, Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain, Special Counsel Manish Jain, Advocates Samrat Goswami, Vivek Gurnani, Kartik Sabharwal, and Ishan Baisla.

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