The Bombay High Court has granted anticipatory bail till February 16 to former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira and two others in a case registered at the Sangvi police station in Pune in connection with the alleged Rs 400-crore fraud involving multi-level marketing company QNet. The accused are already in custody of the Economic Offences Wing and had applied for anticipatory bail with regard to a complaint registered on January 3, 2017, with the Sangvi police at the instance of one Mahesh Uttamrao Mane.
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“I have perused the FIR and other papers placed before me. This court has rejected the anticipatory bail applications of these accused and it is held that a big scam is running at national and international level where many citizens were duped. However, if this is to be treated as an independent case, then the investigating officer will have to bring on record the nexus between the accused and the money invested by the complainant. Interim pre-arrest bail is granted accused till February 16, 2017,” said Justice Mridula Bhatkar.
The lawyer for the accused had argued that since the prosecution claimed it to be a scam in which lakhs of people all over India were cheated, the complaint should be treated as continuous offence and the accused could not be charged twice. Moreover, the lawyer said, if the case of Sangvi was taken as an independent case, the accused were no way concerned with the transaction. The complainant had realised that he invested money in Q-Net or Vihaan in August 2016.
The public prosecutor, meanwhile, opposed these applications. According to the prosecution, accounts were opened at different places by Qnet till September 2016 and even after that, and huge amounts were deposited in the accounts of which the accused were beneficiaries, even though the application for their anticipatory bail was rejected by court on May 6, 2016.