The Bloemfontein Regional Court has relaxed bail conditions of Varun Gupta.

He is one of the accused in the more than R200 million  Estina Dairy project in Vrede.

The court has allowed him permission to travel to India, regarded as a small victory for Varun Gupta.

He is a nephew to the controversial Gupta brothers. He wanted the court to ease his bail conditions.

In particular, the one stating he should inform the investigating officer six weeks before he undertakes any international travel.

The court has allowed him to attend a religious ceremony in India, and hand over his passport to an investigating officer on his return on the 27th of May. Gupta was also ordered to pay an additional R200 000 bail.

The court ruled that the accused was not a flight risk and that he owned a property in South Africa.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the ruling and that not all of Gupta’s requests were granted.

However, the prosecutors took issue with the presiding officer.

NPA Spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku says: “I think the magistrate’s pronouncement were unfortunate, we must recall that there’s no evidence that was read in court. He was not called upon to adjudicate on the strength of the case; it was only on bail condition.”

Varun Gupta was arrested along with seven others. They are all facing, among others, charges of fraud, theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and theft.

They will be back in court in August.

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