Updated: October 2, 2021 7:04:17 pm
The Bombay High Court recently rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of a woman and a man who had allegedly duped a senior citizen of her flat in Juhu, Koliwada, on the pretext of getting her two houses in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
The senior citizen had filed a complaint at Santacruz Police station last year against the duo for offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), claiming that the duo neither paid her the amount promised for her flat in Juhu nor handed over documents of the houses in Kullu.
A single judge bench of Justice Prakash D Naik was last month hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by accused Shikha Sharma and Sumit Khanna, in connection with the FIR filed against them on November 24 last year.
The 75-year-old complainant, an owner of two flats in Juhu Koliwada, was approached by Sharma seeking her flats on rent. Later, Sharma convinced her to sell one of the flats and invest in a project by co-accused Khanna of two houses in Himachal Pradesh. While the agreement of sale for the Juhu flat was made with Khanna for Rs 1.3 crore, the complainant neither received any consideration for the flat nor the Kullu houses.
Advocate Vaibhav Krishna for the applicants argued that the transaction related to “barter arrangement” and there was no criminal breach of trust. It was further argued that the issue was civil in nature and remedy for the complaiant was available in civil proceedings and no criminal offences were made out against the applicants.
Advocate Sujay Kantawala for the complainant intervened and submitted that the accused had defrauded her and she has been deprived of valuable property by being misled and therefore, the criminal complaint was justified.
After perusing material on record, the bench noted that the “fraud played on the complainant is writ large and therefore the sessions court had rightly rejected the pre-arrest bail pleas”.
Dismissing the plea, the bench said that custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary and held, “Investigation revealed that the complainant was deceived. Neither consideration was paid to her nor the flats were provided in the project at Kullu. In these circumstances, no case for grant of anticipatory bail is made out.”
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