Delhi

Anticipatory bail for Meham MLA, 2 others in cheating case

The District and Sessions Court here has granted anticipatory bail to Meham MLA Balraj Kundu and two others, including his younger brother, in a case of cheating and breach of trust.

The court said that prima facie, the design on the part of the complainant was to turn the civil litigation into a criminal one to exert pressure on the petitioners, but the law did not permit it.

Sessions Judge M.M. Dhonchak observed that the police had not displayed the “expected objectivity” in dealing with the case and “the complainant cannot be allowed to succeed in his design as it appears to be a case of high-handedness of the police in troubling the petitioners”.

“The sequence of events unfolded in this case is not a happy countenance,” remarked Mr. Dhonchak in his 16-page order.

Financial dispute

The matter pertains to financial dispute between the petitioners’ company, KCC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd., and Parivartan Singh, the former director of Parivartan Buildtech Pvt. Ltd., over a ₹75 crore-road project in Madhya Pradesh. A complaint was made to Gurugram police on October 10 and a case was registered at Sector 50 police station on charges of cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy among others.

Mr. Dhonchak argued that Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC, were antithesis and in respect of one transaction both cannot be committed simultaneously.

He also pointed out that the Assistant Public Prosecutor failed to point out as to what valuable security was forged by the petitioners and how the alleged offence punishable under IPC Section 467 was made out against the accused.

“In so far as the story propounded by the complainant with regard to three letterheads, settlement paper and cheques not being there in the previous complaint, it shows that it was done as an exercise in an afterthought with a view to exaggerate the gravity of the offence and the same prima-facie appears to be untrue,” said the order.

Mr. Dhonchak also referred to the Supreme Court’s observations in the case of ‘M/s Indian Oil Corporation Vs. M/s NEPC India Limited and others’, that a growing tendency in business circles to convert purely civil disputes into criminal cases is obviously on account of a prevalent impression that civil law remedies are time-consuming and do not adequately protect the interests of lenders/creditors. “Any effort to settle civil disputes and claims, which do not involve any criminal offence, by applying pressure through criminal prosecution should be deprecated and discouraged,” observed the court.

Mr. Dhonchak, quoting another Supreme Court order, observed that “to hold a person guilty of cheating, it is necessary to show that he had a fraudulent or dishonest intention at the time of making the promise”.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:41:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/anticipatory-bail-for-meham-mla/article32967532.ece

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