BAIL APPLN. 3577/2022
KAPIL TANEJA (IN JC) vs STATE, (GOVT. NCT OF DELHI)
The current application filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 has been moved by Sh. Kapil Taneja (‘applicant) seeking regular bail in case FIR No. 217/2022. This was registered under Sections 419/420/120B/34/389 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Sections 66C and 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000, registered at PS Crime Branch. Application before HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE AMIT SHARMA.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
|Section 34||Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention|
|Section 120B||Punishment of criminal conspiracy|
|Section 389||Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property|
|Section 419||Punishment for cheating by personation|
|Section 420||Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property|
Information Technology Act, 2000
|Section 66C||Punishment for identity theft.|
|Section 66 D||Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource.|
FACTS OF THE CASE
The applicant was found at the premises of an alleged call centre being operated from D-1/91, 1st Floor, Phase-I, Okhla, Delhi, from where the applicant along with other tele-callers were allegedly involved in a process of cheating overseas victims from the USA.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant was arrested in the current case on 21.09.2022. The Investigating Officer was granted 5 days police remand during investigation from 21.09.2022 to 26.09.2022 but the applicant has been in judicial custody since then..
The learned counsel for the applicant brought it to the notice of the Court that there was noncompliance of Section 41A (Notice of appearance before police officer) of Cr.P.C.
It was also submitted that the investigation of the applicant is complete and a chargesheet has been filed against the applicant as well as the 33 others on 17.11.2022. It is pointed out that only the present applicant is in judicial custody and the chargesheet for the other 33 persons was filed without arrest.
The allegation in the chargesheet is that the applicant along with 33 other persons were found engaged in cheating citizens of the United States of America from a fake call center. The council of the applicant submits that no evidence has been placed on record by the prosecution agency to support the mentioned allegation.
The learned APP for the State submits that the present applicant and the other co-accused persons as mentioned in Column 11 of the chargesheet were cheating foreign nationals and this activity was bringing bad name to the country. He further submits that the further investigation under Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. is continuing. It was further submitted that the coaccused Akash @ Ankush Sachdeva is evading investigation.
The details of the victims alleged to have been cheated by the applicant and the other co-accused, the learned APP for the State states the content mentioned in the status report. It states that through the assistance of FBI evidences from the victims has been sought. The FBI is in the process of interviewing the victims and has placed it on top priority. On the basis of telephonic conversation with the US Embassy, it has been established that they have been able to obtain the version of two US national victims regarding the cheating done with them. However, they will share the complete details once they are able to interview all the victims whose details have been shared with them. The conclusive report from the FBI is awaited.
The learned APP for the State contends that if the applicant is released on bail, he can influence the witnesses and hence, strongly opposes the current application.
The present applicant has been in judicial custody since 26.09.2022 and the chargesheet has been filed. The possibility of tampering with the evidence, as also of influencing the witnesses cannot be presumed at this stage, owing to the fact that the evidence, as pointed out in the chargesheet, is already in possession of the investigating agency.
The identified alleged victims are residents of USA and therefore, cannot possibly be influenced by the applicant.
Further investigation is continuing but the same cannot be a ground for the applicant’s continued incarceration. The investigation in the present case, pertains to an inquiry being conducted by the FBI in USA and therefore no useful purpose achieved by keeping the present applicant in judicial custody.
The present application was allowed by the Court.
The applicant was granted bail upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- along with two sureties of amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial Court/Duty Magistrate. The following conditions are required to be followed:
- Applicant must inform the trial Court in case of change of address.
- The applicant shall not leave the country without the prior permission of the learned Trial Court.
- The applicant is directed to provide all his mobile numbers to the Investigating Officer and keep them operational at all times
- The applicant shall not, directly or indirectly, tamper with evidence or try to influence the witnesses in any manner.
- The applicant shall join the investigation, as and when required by the Investigating Officer.
- In case it is established that the applicant tried to tamper with the evidence, the bail granted to the applicant shall stand cancelled forthwith.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ADITYA G S.