Sunday, December 3, 2023

Supreme Court grants bail to man accused in Bike Bot scheme scam

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The Supreme Court has granted bail to a man, who was allegedly in custody in connection with the Rs 4000 crore Bike Bot Scheme scam, on condition to deposit Rs 10 crore in the registry as a pre-condition for grant of bail. 

A three-judge bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar on Thursday noted that the Allahabad High Court had already directed release of petitioner Dinesh Pandey on bail, after recording a clear finding that he was not named in the FIR, nor is he the Director, office bearer or manager of Gravit Innovative Promoters Ltd, which launched the Bike Bot Scheme that had defrauded lakhs of investors. 

The Counsel for Pandey contended that he has not been released, as the police kept coming up with new FIRs that had not been disclosed to him earlier. 

The Uttar Pradesh police had earlier said that a Noida-registered company had, in 2018, hatched a multi-level marketing scheme ‘Bike Bot’ and lured investors with the promise of double returns in a year.

While granting interim relief to Pandey, Justice Khanwilkar said the businessman will have to abide by the terms and conditions imposed upon him by the High Court that granted him bail.

“We make it clear that this order will enure to the petitioner in FIRs/complaints referred to in the writ petition or any other FIRs/complaints concerning the subject project and also to other FIRs/complaints to be filed or filed, including for other provisions/enactments invoked against the petitioner on the basis of the said FIRs/complaints.

“In case, the respondent(s) State(s) intend to proceed against the petitioner in connection with any other independent offence concerning the subject project, they must take prior permission of this Court. We have directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 10 crore, in the peculiar facts of the present case, as no claimant has approached this Court so far to set up a claim against the petitioner, as in the case of project Grand Venezia Commercial Towers, in which Satinder Singh Bhasin has been named,” said the order. 

Satinder Singh Bhasin 

The Court also modified its earlier order for granting permission to travel abroad to another accused (Satinder Singh Bhasin) in the Bike Bot Scam Case. The Bench, in its previous order dated August 26, 2021, had allowed him to travel to New York on September 7, 2021, in order to accompany his daughter who took admission in College, and to fulfil the formalities. He prayed before the Court through Senior Counsel Shyam Divan to change the date from September 7 to 15. The Court has allowed the prayer and directed to list the matter on October 1, 2021, along with connected matters. 

The Court also considered the objection raised by Bajaj/respondent Counsel, that there is a probability of the petitioner not returning. It held that the same argument was raised and considered earlier and had not found favour with the Court. Hence, this objection was rejected. 

MrShyam Divan had submitted that the Court was pleased to release the passport of the petition on the condition that they file response to the IAs filed. He submitted that the replies had been filed and an undertaking before the Registrar had also been filed. He submitted that the petitioner was hopeful that the passport would be obtained today. Since it needs renewal also, the date of leaving the country has to be deferred. 

The Court asked if there were any objections. Raghvendra Bajaj submitted that there are apprehensions that he would not come back. 

On the last date of hearing on August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court noted that the applicant sought the relief that his passport be released and a no objection certificate for renewal be given. 

The case relates to the Bike Bot Scam. The substantive relief claimed in this writ petition is to club all the FIRs pertaining to Bike Bot Scheme scam, wherein the petitioner had been arrayed as an accused along with other accused, and to appoint a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for conducting the investigation in connection with the FIRs.

The petitioner was arrested earlier by the Economic Offence Wing for allegedly duping money of 100s of investors by fraudulently selling property to them. Total 31 FIRs have been filed in the State of UP and one has been filed in the NCT of Delhi, pertaining to the scam and making similar grievance.

Also Read: Supreme Court e-committee newsletter April 2021 issue out

On July 6, 2021, the Supreme Court considered the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad that the petitioner was not named in the FIR, nor as a Director, neither as Signatory or shareholder of Garvit Innovative Promoters Limited (GIPL). The allegation against the petitioner was that the investors amount of the Bike Bot Scheme scam launched by GIPL has been diverted to his company.

Case name- Satinder Singh Bhasin vs State of Uttar Pradesh

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