In a recent judgment dated 20.10.2022, the Madras High Court stated that white collar crimes are not done by sudden provocation, rather with the deep understanding of the crimes. The matter was between Rahul Dinesh Surana v. The Senior Assistant Director, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (Crl.O.P.No.21728 of 2022) and was presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.G. Jagadish Chandira.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A bail application was filed by Rahul Dinesh Surana, who along with others was accused of siphoning of huge public money availed by way of financial assistance from various banks in the name of some shell Companies and puppet Companies. An investigation was conducted through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs into the Surana Group of Companies by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.
The petitioner claimed to be innocent however he acknowledged being in charge of resurrecting and restoring the business while simultaneously maintaining that he was unaware of the fraudulent behavior.
The hon’ble court denying bail to the former CEO of the Surana Group of Companies in the alleged case of defrauding various banks to the tune of Rs 10,000 Crore, held that white-collar crimes are particularly harmful to society because they are committed by intelligent, powerful individuals who understood the repercussions of their actions.
The court further noted that the Companies had floated various shell, puppet Companies, Partnerships and Proprietorship by making its own employees as Directors, Partners and Proprietors respectively inside and outside India to siphon off crores of money to cause loss to the lending banks.
The hon’ble court mentioned that the offence is a serious economic offence of grave magnitude involving around 10,000 crores of hard earned public money. The court further mentioned that the fraudulent activity of stealing public funds from financial institutions is unlike any other crime that might have been undertaken on the spur of the moment since it is thoroughly thought out, with a thorough awareness of the repercussions and a strategy to overcome them. Therefore, if the court determines that there is a prima facie case against the accused in such cases, it cannot be satisfied that there are good grounds to believe that the accused is innocent of the alleged crime and that he is unlikely to commit another crime while out on bail, as required by Section 212(6)(ii) of the Companies Act, 2013.
The court dismissed the petitions after concluding that he had not complied with the requirements set forth in Section 212(6)(ii) of the Companies Act for the issuance of bail for the offence punishable under Section 447 of the Companies Act.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY ADITI PRIYADARSHI