The Delhi High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to a person accused of selling the farm house of which the accused was not the owner.
The single bench of Justice Amit Bansal reasoned that granting anticipatory bail to the applicant would prejudice the investigation in the present FIR. The offences against the applicant are serious in nature and a huge amount of Rs.25 crores has allegedly been cheated.
Believing the fraudulent representation of the accused persons that they are the owners of the farm house, the complainant entered into an Agreement to Sell with the applicant, in which the co-accused Keshav Ram Saini was the confirming party. Pursuant to the Agreement to Sell, the complainant paid a sum of Rs.21.35 crores through banking channels and approximately Rs.4 crores in cash. However, neither a sale deed was registered in favour of the complainant, nor the possession was transferred to him.
The investigation revealed that the actual owners of the Farm House were members of the Tiwani Family, who had purchased the said Farm House in 1990 from one Harbanslal Lal Arora, who was the Power of Attorney of the original owners i.e., Gujaratis. The applicant was aware that the property had been sold to the Tiwani family. It was also confirmed that the physical possession of the said Farm House has been with the Tiwani family since 1990.
The applicant submitted that all the details with regard to the ownership history of the Farm House were duly disclosed in the Agreement to Sell dated 7th January, 2011 and therefore it cannot be said that the applicant cheated the complainant. Out of the sum of Rs.21.35 crores received from the applicant through banking channels, a sum of Rs. 13.20 crore was transferred to Vijay Kumar Shrivastava, complainant’s brother, to be kept in escrow and be released after execution of the sale deed in the favour of the complainant.
The department staed that custodial interrogation of the applicant is required as he has failed to produce original documents in respect of the Farm House as well as the proof of payments made by him to Keshav Ram Saini towards the purchase of the Farm House. Further, during the course of inquiry, the co-accused Keshav Ram Saini has denied his signature as the confirming party on the Agreement to Sell.
The court while denying the bail held that in respect of economic offences anticipatory bail can be granted only in exceptional circumstances.