Taking note of rising economic offences affecting “homeless persons” who give their “hard earned money” to developers to buy a house but are later duped by them, the Bombay High Court recently rejected bail applications of three people allegedly involved in such a fraud. The high court further held that the “entire community is aggrieved by such economic offences which are increasing day by day”.
The three accused, Santosh Pujari, Vijay Kendre and Vasant Patil, were working for Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers and were booked for cheating. One Sunil Deshmukh is owner of “Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers”, which was to construct apartments in the Kalyan area in Mumbai.
Nearly 100 people had deposited their money with Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers.
“In a systematic manner, the applicants have siphoned of the amount and have failed to perform their obligations. Apartments were not built by them by purchasing the land and mere show of starting construction thereof was made. There was intention to cheat homeless persons since inception as such is writ large from papers of investigation. Several homeless individuals lost savings of their life due to act of cheating by applicants. The entire community is aggrieved by such economic offences, which are increasing day by day,” observed Justice A M Badar.
He added that “considering the nature of the offence, its effect on the society at large, and evidence against applicants no case for bail is made out”.
The advocates for two of the accused had argued that their names were not in the FIR, nor had they received any money in the matter. The only allegation against them is that they used to sit in the office of the developer. In the case of Vijay Kendre, it was pointed out that the allegations were general in nature and his accounts were already frozen by the investigators.
The additional public prosecutor, however, opposed their bail plea stating that several investors were involved in this financial scam to the tune of more than Rs 1.5 crore. Moreover, in a similar manner, applicants have cheated public at large by establishing another firm named “Aai Ekvira Builders and Developers”.
“So far as the applicant Santosh is concerned it is seen that witnesses have spoken that he used to sit in the office of Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers…… The chargesheet also revealed that the applicant Santosh had purchased gold ornaments from Pushparaj Jewellers of Kalyan by issuing cheque drawn from the account of Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers maintained at Axis Bank. This prima facie indicate that applicant Santosh used to keep with him duly signed cheque book of the said firm signed by co-accused Sunil,” pointed out the court.
In the case of Vasant Patil, the court said he had secured land for “alluring persons in need of home”, and was accepting the cash amount from the customers visiting the office of Sai Ekvira Builders and Developers. Further, Vijay’s name was mentioned in the FIR and he had also received financial benefits from the company, said the court.