Court reserves orders on Stayzilla Vasupal’s bail plea

Co-founder of online home stay aggregator was arrested on charges of cheating and criminal intimidation

Published - March 22, 2017 10:50 pm IST - CHENNAI

Yogendra Vasupal, CEO,

Yogendra Vasupal, CEO,

“The criminal charges foisted against me are part of pressure tactics to settle a civil dispute, which is against Supreme Court’s directive,” pleaded Yogendra Vasupal, co-founder of online home stay aggregator Stayzilla, who was arrested by the CCB police on March 14 on charges of cheating and criminal intimidation.

Senior counsel B. Kumar made the submissions on behalf of Mr. Vasupal while moving a bail application in the special metropolitan magistrate court for CCB-CBCID cases, Chennai. The application, which was moved eight days after Mr. Vasupal’s arrest, has been posted to Thursday for orders by special metropolitan magistrate M.M. Kabir.

Criminal proceedings

Criminal proceedings were initiated against the petitioner based on a complaint from C.S. Aditya of Jigsaw Advertising and Solutions Private Limited, alleging that Stayzilla had failed to make payments for services rendered since February 2016 and has defrauded him of ₹1.69 crore. A case was registered by the CCB against Mr. Vasupal and his partner Sarjit Singhi for offences under Sections 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating), 506 (i) (Criminal Intimidation) of the IPC.

Moving the bail application, Mr. Kumar said: “There is no written contract for the services rendered. It was all an understanding between the parties. He claims that huge number of hoardings were placed in various places across the country and for that, they charged as much as nearly ₹60 lakh. We said we have no evidence that you have put up so many hoardings and also, that many such hoardings were placed in insignificant places for which such huge amount cannot be paid for that.”

“Another contention of the complainant was that he had advertised for the petitioner’s company in the tags used by Jet Airways and IndiGo. But he had not enclosed any evidence for that. So there was a serious dispute as to what we ought to pay,” Mr. Kumar added.

Pointing out that the whole dispute was of a civil nature, the senior counsel contended that the least police should have done was to have enquired the petitioner about what the dispute was actually about.

“The police cannot unilaterally believe what the complainant has said and arrest the petitioner,” the counsel said.

Claiming that he was a “perfect” law abiding citizen, with no bad antecedents, the petitioner sought the court to enlarge him on bail. However, opposing the application, Additional Public Prosecutor S. Manual Arasu said, “Prima facie this is a clear case of cheating. The other accused is absconding and is yet to be arrested. The CCB is also receiving several other complaints against the accused.”

Noting that it was too early to allow the application, Mr. Manual added that the accused had closed down his company without following any set procedures. Considering the gravity of the offence the petition should be dismissed.

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