Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Allahabad High Court rejects bail plea of former minister’s brother in cheating case

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of Kailash Bhati, brother of former minister Narendra Bhati, accused of cheating and criminal conspiracy.

A single-judge bench of Justice Deepak Verma passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Kailash Bhati.

The bail application has been filed on behalf of the applicant with a prayer to release him on bail in Case under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B IPC, P.S Ecotech-3, District Gautambudh Nagar, during pendency of the trial.

The FIR has been lodged through application under Section 156 (3) CrPC alleging that the land had been grabbed by accused persons by playing fraud. Initially the FIR was investigated by a police officer but considering the seriousness of the issues involved in the FIR, the case was transferred to Special Investigating Team (SIT).

Thereafter, investigation was done by the crime branch, District Gautam Budh Nagar. Informant claims himself to be a social worker and lodged the FIR alleging that the said area was recorded as barren (Banjar) in the revenue record.

On account of consolidation proceedings which was done in 1960, the land had non-transferable rights and no one had the right to purchase and sell the property.

One co-accused Rajendra Singh claimed to have power of attorney and executed sale deeds in favour of different persons in September and October 1999. The land came under land acquisition proceedings on 25.11.1997 and compensation of the land had been received by Swetana and others and the compensation was paid to the alleged owner. There was a debt over the property and in failure of payment, the land was seized in favour of the State Government and to this effect, an endorsement was made on the revenue record.

By concealing this very fact, the entire scam had been done in collusion with the officials of Greater Noida Authorities. As per Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, 6% developed land was allotted in the name of Madhu Singh D/o G.S. Kamboj, W/o Deepak.

It is further alleged that crime was committed by fabricating documents and in place of father of original Madhu Singh, D/o Late Gyan Chand Kamboj, it is mentioned as Madhu Singh D/o G.S Kamboj, wife of Deepak co-accused, the allotment was also not in accordance with law and same was over green belt.

It is argued by counsel for the applicant that the applicant is manager of Noida Authority and has been falsely implicated in the case. He has no concern with the alleged forgery and documentation as alleged in the FIR made by High authority.

He next argued that a proceedings was allowed in favour of Shwetna, Virendra Singh, Surendra Singh, Smt Geeta, Rajendra Singh and Madhu Singh vide order dated 31.07.2000 passed by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Gautam Budh Nagar. The State has not challenged the said order by filing any appeal or revision and compensation award was allowed in favour of co-accused and another person vide order dated 11.12.2008 passed by Additional District Magistrate, (Land Revenue), Gautam Budh Nagar. The applicant has no concern with the preparation of fake documents and pasting of fake photographs. The sale deed was executed on the basis of a registered power of attorney dated 07.09.1999.

It is further submitted that the applicant is not named in the FIR. On the basis of sale deed, compensation had been disbursed, thereafter, they have claimed 6% allotment of land. The applicant is not beneficiary or executor of lease deed dated 27.11.2014. The lease deed was prepared by Noida officers and finally, it was approved by Higher Noida Authorities including CEO. The only role of applicant is that he approved lease deeds in favour of concerned persons after approval by Higher Noida Authority including CEO. The applicant has been implicated as an employee of Noida official; he is not beneficiary on the approval of lease deed and as per statement of witnesses, there is no allegation against the applicant.

It has next been argued that Rajendra Singh and two other co- accused have filed the Petition before the Court and the Coordinate Bench of the Court granted interim protection to co-accused.

Per contra counsel for the informant and AGA opposed the bail application contending that applicant is the main accused, who tampered with the documents.

Madhu Singh W/o Late Prabhjot Singh, D/o Gyan Chand Kamboj, who is owner of the property, in her statement has specifically stated that signature made on her behalf, is forged and fabricated and address is also forged and name of her father G.S. Kamboj is wrongly mentioned and she is not wife of Deepak but Late Prabhjot Singh. The lease deed dated 27.11.2014, was issued by applicant to Smt Swetna W/o Manoj Singh, Madhu Singh W/o Deepak Kumar D/o G.S Kamboj. These records have been issued by the applicant being a higher officer of the GDA.

Counsel for the informant further argued that the applicant is a very powerful person and he could influence the investigation as well as trial. The accused persons are harassing the informant and pressurize the informant to withdraw the case otherwise they would face dire consequences. In this regard, they have filed a complaint.

“Considering the argument raised by counsel for the applicant; counsel for the informant and AGA, it is evident from the record that documents have been manipulated and fabricated. From the statement of original tenure holder of the disputed plot, it is clear that Madhu Singh co-accused has misrepresented her by pasting her photograph on the revenue record and sale deed and made signature claiming herself to be the daughter of G.S Kamboj and wife of Deepak whereas original tenure holder of the disputed plot is Madhu Singh D/o late G.C. Kamboj and wife of late Prabhjot Singh and document issued by the applicant has been found fabricated. Hence, the involvement of the applicant, being high officers, cannot be denied in the case, at this stage. Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the Court does not find good grounds for enlarging the applicant on bail,” the Court observed while rejecting the bail application.

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