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Punjab and Haryana HC grants bail to three facing charges in insurance policy fraud

Updated 28th October 2020 | 11:20 IST

The Punjab and Haryana supreme court has granted bail to 3 persons who are booked for allegedly cheating former chairman of Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana of Rs 3.58 lakh on the pretext of renewing insurance policies.

A single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar granted bail to accused Suman Kumar, Sonu and Karan Singh, within the FIR registered against them at Sector 19 police headquarters, upon their furnishing personal bonds for a sum of Rs 2 lakh each alongside two sureties for a like sum each to the satisfaction of the Duty Magistrate concerned. The court also directed the accused to rejoin the investigation as and when called upon to try to so and cooperate with the police authorities.

In January 2020, on the complaint of Chander Mohan Munjal, the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of Chandigarh Police arrested the accused among 10 people that were allegedly running a racket of a faux call centre in Ghaziabad and Uttar Pradesh area, involved in duping people on the pretext of renewing insurance policies.

The police recovered 100 SIM cards, 100 ATM cards, 25 mobile phones, and 70 cheque books from the possession of the accused.

Compromise deeds were executed by the accused and therefore the victim in February 2020. Thereby, the quantity fraudulently obtained from the victim was returned to him. On the strength of this compromise, a quash petition was filed before the supreme court. On March 6, 2020, passed therein, this court directed the trial Illaqa Magistrate to record the statements of all the parties concerned and report on whether the compromise was genuine and was without pressure and undue influence. The report remains awaited and therefore the case is pending consideration. However, the counsel for the complainant has confirmed to the court that the Rs 3.58 lakh taken from her client was duly returned.

After hearing the plea, the HC Bench stated that the accused are imagined to have run an organised large-scale criminal operation, whereby several innocent people were duped. As of date, the police authorities are yet to collect full information of the victims who may need been duped.

On the one hand, Karan Singh seeks to shift the blame onto other accused within the case, and Sonu and Suman Kumar claim to be just employees. However, recoveries were effected from all three of them and therefore the investigation seems to possess shown complicity on their part also.

The court observed that insofar because the subject FIR cares, the complainant has already been appeased. In such a situation, it’s for the state to make a decision on how it might continue with the prosecution of this case without his active cooperation.

“That being so, this court isn’t inclined to simply accept that the compromise effected with the complainant would be reason enough to infer that the fate of this case is doomed which the petitioners would automatically be entitled to release on bail… The compromise, in itself, may therefore not be reason enough to bring down the curtains. However, as matters stand, the investigation seems to possess been completed to an excellent extent insofar because the present FIR cares and recoveries have also been affected,” the court held.

The Bench thus stated that no purpose would be served in continuing with the custodial incarceration of the petitioners. However, given their alleged complicity in these nefarious operations and therefore the incontrovertible fact that the investigation remains not complete, the grant of relief to them would need to be subject to conditions.

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