The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to a man weighing 153 Kgs considering his precarious medical condition who is an accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill noted that the jail doctor or a civil hospital may not be fully equipped to handle a patient having multiple ailments who apart from medical treatment may require a certain level of monitoring, care and attention which ordinarily is not available in jail.

Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhri appeared for the petitioner whereas Satya Pal Jain, Assistant Solicitor General of India, appeared for ED.

The accused had sought bail in respect of a complaint under Section 4 read with Section 70 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

It was alleged that he was part and parcel of a scam and had benefited to the extent of about Rs. 53 crores.

The counsel representing petitioner submitted that whatever amount the petitioner had received or had been credited in his account was on account of his professional remuneration, being a software expert.

It was further submitted that the petitioner weighs 153 kilograms and has various medical issues and is presently having precarious health which is deteriorating by the day and in these circumstances, his further custody could prove fatal to his health and life.

The Court observed that "Measuring the facts of the present case in context of section 45 of the Act, the evidence collected by the investigating agency particularly the information found stored in laptop of petitioner and also the bank accounts of the petitioner and of other members of his family wherein crores of rupees has been credited which remains unexplained, leaves no doubt about complicity of the petitioner."

The Court further noted that "…it can be safely be said that the twin conditions prescribed by section 45 of the Act do not stand satisfied."

However, the Court on perusal of the medical report of the petitioner observed that the petitioner is an obese person weighing 153 kilograms having erratic hypertension and diabetes issues. Additionally he is found to be having Coronary Artery Disease(CAD).

"Obesity, as in the case of the petitioner, who weighs 153 kilograms is not just a symptom but is itself a disease which becomes root-cause of several other diseases. With such co-morbodities, the response, the resistance, the resilience and the capacity of the body to fight ailments and recuperate efficaciously, decreases substantially.", the Court noted.

The Court observed that the petitioner falls in the exception of being "sick" as carved out in Section 45 of the Act, so as to be entitled to be released on bail.

Thus considering the medical condition of the petitioner, the Court ordered his release on bail.

Cause Title- Pranjil Batra v. Directorate of Enforcement

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