Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or it can be both: High Court Of New Delhi

The present application has sought the grant of bail concerning FIR No.132/2020, PS EOW Delhi, under Sections 420, 406, 409, 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the same issue was held in the judgement passed by a single bench judge comprising HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE ANU MALHOTRA, in the matter, UMESH VERMA V. STATE dealt with an issue mentioned above.

The applicant has made seeking the grant of bail for two months on medical grounds, vide order dated 21.09.2021, the Superintendent Jail, Delhi was directed to submit Bail.Appl.No.3500/2021 Page 2 of 22 the status of the present medical condition of the applicant after getting him examined. Later the status report dated 24.09.2021 was submitted under the signatures of the ACP, EOW with a further additional status report having been filed on 05.10.2021.

The allegations levelled against the applicant were as of that, the report is to the effect that the applicant along with the co-accused Bharat Verma and other associates were running a Crypto Currency chit fund company and held various meetings at their office address of the firm named Pluto Exchange in Connaught Place, Delhi to explain their cryptocurrency business, As per the said status report, the complainants were further allured on the assurance of extra commission, if more clients were brought for the investment in the said firm Pluto Exchange.

They also filed an FIR, which is indicated to have been lodged by one Joginder Kumar, S/o Sh. Tika Ram stated that the cryptocurrency chit fund company named Pluto Exchange, And also the business of crypto trading and crypto mining and were receiving a high return which was being given to their clients and they also offered to give commission to the complainant if they brought more clients to his company and thus the complainant registered on this pluto exchange website i.e. www.plutoexchange.com.

Later he received nothing as per the commitment of Mr Bharat Verma and thus, visited his office who informed him that due to reduced rates of bitcoin and seized account, they were unable to give returns through the bank and asked the complainant to wait so that he would receive the returns in few months but when he received nothing in his account, he visited the office of the firm and found that the office had shifted to Dubai from India.

Apart from the above, as per the said status report, the applicant was a habitual offender, and it was submitted that an FIR bearing No.11/2010, PS EOW under Sections 420/120B/406/409/467/468/471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 had been registered against him. Inter alia the EOW submitted that the applicant does not have any Bail.Appl.No.3500/2021 permanent address in Delhi and has been living in rented accommodations and keep changing his address.

The present application submits that there is no prima facie case of cheating made out and that it is thus the prosecution’s case based on statements of complainants who have allegedly made investments and done trading in cryptocurrency through the website of the applicant. It is further submitted on behalf of the applicant that the complainants have also annexed through their complaints, the copy of printouts of their trading accounts clearly showing the trade of cryptocurrency in their accounts but this aspect Bail.Appl.No.3500/2021 has been brushed aside by the Sessions Court whilst rejecting the prayer made by the applicant seeking the grant of bail.

Later the applicant has submitted that the charge sheet lacks the necessary ingredients of the offences of cheating, misappropriation and breach of trust against the applicant and that to attract the Bail.Appl.No.3500/2021 Page 17 of 22 offence of cheating, the complainant itself has to put forth an allegation of the existence of the presence of an intention to cheat the complainant on the inception of the transaction or at the time when any valuable consideration or money is paid by the complainant or extracted from the complaint by the accused.

Learned counsel for the complainant submitted that the replies of the complainants had been annexed to the charge sheet and that the copy of the complete charge sheet had not been placed on the record by the applicant and thus, vide order dated 28.09.2021, it was directed that for a fair adjudication in the matter, the entire charge sheet in the e-form is placed on record by the State and that the State was also specifically directed to place on record the responses, whereas the charge sheet was already been filed, the factum that the applicant indulged in the trade of cryptocurrency despite public notices dated 24.12.2013, 01.02.2017, Bail.Appl.No.3500/2021 05.12.2017 issued by the RBI as also issued on 06.04.2018.

The court perused the facts and argument’s presented, it thought that- “The application is thus, dismissed. Nothing stated hereinabove shall however amount to any expression on the merits or demerits of the trial”.

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Judgment Reviewed by: Mandira BS 

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