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Multi-crore heist case: Gurugram court allows I-T department to record accused’s statements

The theft, reported on August 21, 2021, was initially suspected to be Rs 50 lakh. The police probe so far has found that on the intervening night of August 3 and 4, 2021, at least Rs 30 crore was stolen from the office-cum-flat of Alpha G, the complainant company.

income tax department akali dal punjabThe I-T department had moved an application under section 131 (1) of the Income Tax Act read with sections 3 and 6 of the Prisoners Act 1955, as well as section 267 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for permission to record the accused’s statements. (File Photo)

A district court has granted permission to the Income Tax (I-T) department to record the statements of the accused in the multi-crore heist case in Gurugram, which is being probed by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Haryana Police.

In his order on Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge Amit Sahrawat said, “The Income Tax authorities are permitted to record the statements of the accused persons who are already lying in custody in this case at district jail Bhondsi, Gurugram on any working day between 9 am to 5 pm.”

The I-T department had moved an application under section 131 (1) of the Income Tax Act read with sections 3 and 6 of the Prisoners Act 1955, as well as section 267 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for permission to record the accused’s statements.

The court also pointed out that inquiries are already pending before the I-T department with regard to assets and income of Alpha G Corp Management Services Private Ltd, the complainant company.

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The Indian Express had earlier reported that the source of the stolen money was being traced by the Income Tax department. The I-T department had also issued a notice to the complainant in the case in this regard.

The district court issued non-bailable warrants of one of the accused, Gurpeet Singh, in the case.

The I-T department had also moved an application seeking custody of all the cash and other material like gold, which has been recovered in the case by the police. The STF had filed a reply of the application raising objection, stating that the recovered cash and gold was case property.

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The court dismissed the application of the IT department. “Section 132-A of Income Tax Act 1961 empowers the income tax authorities like Commissioner to take the custody of the assets or cash if he has ‘reason to believe’ that any asset either wholly or partly, income or property which has not been or would not have been disclosed for the purpose of Indian Income Tax Act. However, here the Income Tax authorities have nowhere recorded this ‘reason to believe’ that the complainant company has not or would not have disclosed its income,” it said.

On March 15, the court granted permission to the STF to interrogate suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Dheeraj Setia in confrontation with another accused, Dr Suchender Jain Nawal, who is in jail.

Setia was granted interim bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 24. The IPS officer, who was posted as a DCP in Gurugram at the time of the theft and against whom the Prevention of Corruption Act has been invoked, was suspended on December 10, 2021, after the court had put under scanner allegations of bribery against him.

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In a disclosure statement to the police, the alleged mastermind, Dr Nawal said that he handed over a bag containing 3 kg gold bricks, $1,35,000 and Rs 62, 000 [total value of Rs 2.5 crore] to Setia at his house for covering up the case in September 2021.

The theft, reported on August 21, 2021, was initially suspected to be Rs 50 lakh. The police probe so far has found that on the intervening night of August 3 and 4, 2021, at least Rs 30 crore was stolen from the office-cum-flat of Alpha G.

In the initial FIR registered at Kherki Daula police station, the complainant, Santosh Singh, an employee of Alpha G, had not mentioned the amount stolen. In a supplementary statement on August 26, 2021, the complainant stated that Rs 50 lakh was stolen.

First published on: 24-03-2022 at 04:23:28 pm
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