Economic offences bring total imbalance in the national economy, a Delhi court has observed while refusing bail to two directors of a real estate firm alleged to have duped over 8,000 investors.
Special Judge Kamini Lau also rapped the economic offence wing of Delhi Police for clubbing all complaints together in one FIR and said it was an attempt by it to dilute the allegations against the accused.
The court denied bail to Avdhesh Kumar Goel and Atul Gupta, directors of Earth Infrastructure Limited, saying such offences deserved to be dealt with due degree of seriousness and gravity, having regard to their detrimental effect on the economy.
The two have been charged with taking money from about 8,000 investors for eight projects, each worth between Rs 1,200-1,500 crore, which have not been completed or handed over.
“This is a fit case where separate FIR should have been registered by clubbing not more than three complaints in a particular year and not by clubbing all the complaints together in one FIR. There is an attempt on behalf of the investigating agency to dilute the allegations against the accused,” the court said.
The Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police had filed two charge sheets in the FIRs lodged in relation to residential- cum-commercial projects on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida area of Uttar Pradesh.
The FIR was registered for the alleged offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy under the IPC.
It noted that the project was supposed to be completed within three years after 2012 but out of eight projects, not a single one has been finished yet.
“In case what has been informed to this court that more than 8000 investors have been cheated in respect of investment to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 1,500 crore per project, there being eight projects of which not even a single project has been completed or handed over, then it is a serious issue,” the court said while denying bail to the accused.
“The nation is greater than an individual. When such an individual is alleged to have been involved in a serious offence, which affects the society and the nation, release of such person on bail is not proper,” the court said.
Seeking bail, the counsel for the accused said the charge sheet has already been filed and no gainful purpose would be served by further incarcerating them in jail.
Advocate Amit Kumar, appearing for the victim investors, opposed the bail plea saying there were chances that the accused would abscond.
The victims’ counsel also alleged that one of the accused, Goel, was arrested on the basis of a lookout circular while trying to “abscond” to Bangkok.
The court rejected the accused’s plea that they belonged to respectable families, saying it rather emphasises the seriousness of the malady.
“If a person belonging to high status in life would show scant regard to the laws of the country which are for the public good, for protecting our national economy and any violation of such law by such persons must be effectively dealt with,” the court said.