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Human greed does not accept bar of age: HC dismisses 95-yr-old’s bail plea in cheating case

The bench of Justice H S Madaan was hearing the pre-arrest bail plea of Piara Singh of Gurdaspur, Punjab, who has approached the HC after he was booked for cheating the complainant of Rs 6.50 lakh in connection with migration to the USA.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
Updated: March 11, 2021 2:25:46 am
Furthermore, the accused is said to be involved in FIR no. 197 of 2020 for offenses under sections 323, 365 etc of IPC, which goes to show that he has a criminal bent of mind. (Express Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the bail plea of a 95-year-old man in a cheating case stating that while “senior citizens are entitled to be treated with courtesy and due regard, human greed does not accept bar of age, sex, race etc.”

The bench of Justice H S Madaan was hearing the pre-arrest bail plea of Piara Singh of Gurdaspur, Punjab, who has approached the HC after he was booked for cheating the complainant of Rs 6.50 lakh in connection with migration to the USA.

The accused, Piara Singh, through his counsel contended before HC that he is 95 years old and could not be expected to get involved in such kinds of criminal acts and that a false FIR has been lodged against him.

Justice Madaan however, said, “A person of very advanced age may not be able to shed vice of greed and would indulge in criminal acts to amass money. Therefore, advanced age is no guarantee of a person being not indulging in criminal activities.”

As per the FIR, Piara Singh alongwith two others had cheated Kuldip Singh of Gurdaspur of Rs 6.50 lakh claiming he would be facilitating his migration to the US but he neither fulfilled his commitment nor returned his money, and started threatening him. A FIR was registered under sections of 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust), at PS Batala, Gurdaspur.

Singh’s pre-arrest bail plea was dismissed by additional sessions judge, Gurdaspur, following which he moved HC against the order of lower court, seeking bail relief.

The HC after hearing the matter held that the accused had issued two cheques to the complainant for Rs 2 lakh each. If the accused had not received any money from the complainant, then where was the reason for issuing such cheques by him to the complainant, and that corroborates the allegations levelled by the complainant in the FIR that he had paid Rs 6.50 lakh to the complainant. Those cheques, when presented to the banker of accused, had been dishonoured.

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Justice Madaan thus said that the custodial interrogation of the petitioner is found to be necessary for complete and effective investigation to find out how he had planned the crime and the mode of its execution, the other persons involved therein and role played by each one of them, how the amount of Rs 6,50,000 received from the complainant was dealt with, whether it was retained entirely by the accused or he had given share therein to his co-accused also, if so, to what extent and when. In case custodial interrogation of the petitioner is denied to the investigating agency that would leave many loose ends and gaps in the investigation affecting the investigation being carried out adversely, which is not called for.

Furthermore, the accused is said to be involved in FIR no. 197 of 2020 for offenses under sections 323, 365 etc of IPC, which goes to show that he has a criminal bent of mind and his credentials are not that clear, said Justice Madaan, while dismissing the bail plea.

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