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Sunil Gandhi vs State on 4 April, 2019

$~1 to 6
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on: 04th April, 2019

+ BAIL APPLN. 903/2018 and Crl. M.A 7413/2018

SUNIL GANDHI ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Vivek Kohli, Mr. Vivek Singh, Mr.
Kushal Mangal, Mr. Bhavit Yadav and Ms.
Dhristi Ahluwalia, Advocates

versus

STATE ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan
Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.
Mr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Advocate for the
complainant Vishvendra

+ BAIL APPLN. 2458/2018 and Crl. M (Bail) 1643/2018 and
Crl. M.A. 34478/2018

MAJ. (RETD.) SURENDRA KUMAR HOODA ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Dayan Krishnan, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Madhav Khurana and Mr. Varun
Singh Thapa, Advocate

versus

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 1 of 19
STATE ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan

Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.
Mr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Advocate for the
complainant Vishvendra

+ BAIL APPLN. 2459/2018 and Crl. M. (Bail) 1644/2018, Crl.
M.A. 34479/2018 and Crl. M.A 47549-47550/2018

MAJ. (RETD.) SURENDRA KUMAR HOODA ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Dayan Krishnan, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Madhav Khurana and Mr. Varun
Singh Thapa, Advocate

versus

STATE ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan
Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.
Mr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Advocate for the
complainant Vishvendra

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 2 of 19
+ BAIL APPLN. 2460/2018 and Crl. M(Bail) 1645/2018 and
Crl. M.A. 34480/2018

MAJ. (RETD.) SURENDRA KUMAR HOODA ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Dayan Krishnan, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Madhav Khurana and Mr. Varun
Singh Thapa, Advocate

versus

STATE ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan
Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.
Mr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Advocate for the
complainant Vishvendra

+ BAIL APPLN. 905/2018 and Crl. M.A. 7422/2018 and Crl.
M.A. 346435/2018

SUNIL GANDHI ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Vivek Kohli, Mr. Vivek Singh, Mr.
Kushal Mangal, Mr. Bhavit Yadav and Ms.
Dhristi Ahluwalia, Advocates

versus

STATE ….. Respondent

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 3 of 19
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan

Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.
Mr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Advocate for the
complainant Vishvendra

+ BAIL APPLN. 913/2018 and Crl. M.A. 7456/2018

SUNIL GANDHI ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Sr. Advocate
with Mr. Vivek Kohli, Mr. Vivek Singh, Mr.
Kushal Mangal, Mr. Bhavit Yadav and Ms.
Dhristi Ahluwalia, Advocates

versus

STATE ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjay Lao, ASC with Mr.
Amit Ahlawat, APP with ACP K. Ramesh,
Insp. Vinod Gandhi and SI Harpal Madan

Mr. Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Mr. Laksh
Khanna, Advocate for complainant
Mahinder Kr. Soni

Mr. Sanjay Abbot, Advocate for
complainant / Spirewoods Resident Assn.

CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R.K.GAUBA

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 4 of 19
ORDER (ORAL)

1. Petitioner Surendra Kumar Hooda was arrested in the course of
investigation in three cases viz. first information report (FIR)
nos.114/2016, 116/2016 and 64/2016, now under investigation with
Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police. His applications
for release on bail have been declined by the court of Sessions. By the
captioned petitions instituted by him, he seeks orders for release on
bail from this court. The allegations in the three said FIRs also
attribute role to petitioner Sunil Gandhi. He had applied for release on
anticipatory bail but his requests in the context of three cases have
been declined by the court of Sessions. By the three other captioned
petitions, he seeks such orders from this court. Since the three cases
against the two petitioners arise out of certain common set of facts,
their contentions being similar, all the applications have been heard
together and are being disposed of through this common order.

2. M/s. A.N. Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. is a company registered under the
Companies Act, 1956 having its registered office at 504, 5th Floor,
Bhikaji Cama Bhawan, 11, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066.
It has concededly been engaged in the business of real estate
development. Petitioners Maj. (Retd.) Surendra Kumar Hooda and
Sunil Gandhi were concededly promoters and directors of the said
company, they claiming to have resigned from the said positions in
2014-2015. Nonetheless, they have continued to control substantial
share in the said company. On the basis of licences obtained by the
company in 2010-2011, it had floated two projects, one called Spire
Wood and the other called Spire Edge, each to be developed in

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different plots in district Gurugram (Haryana), the former for
residential units and the latter to comprise of commercial or office
space units. Pursuant to the publicity of the said projects made, a
large number of public persons approached the company and made
investments.

3. In the wake of delay in the completion of the said projects, and
revelations statedly made of mis-representation vis-a-vis the prior
approvals and the availability of lands free from all encumbrances,
and certain acts of commission indulged in dishonestly resulting in
siphoning of funds by the company and its directors, a large number of
investors approached the police with their respective complaints, such
grievances having, in turn, resulted in registration of the three cases
viz. FIR no.114/2016 in police station Sarita Vihar under Section 420
read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), on the
complaint of Shikha Sadh; FIR no.116/2016 also of police station
Sarita Vihar for offences under Sections 406, 420, 34 IPC on the
complaint of Renuka Kulkarni and FIR no.64/2016 of police station
Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for offences under Sections 406,
409, 420, 120-B IPC. All the said three FIRs were eventually taken
over for investigation by EOW.

4. A report (charge-sheet) under Section 173 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.PC) dated 19.12.2017 was submitted in
the context of FIR no.114/2016 in the court of Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate, South-East at Saket seeking prosecution of petitioner
Surendra Kumar Hooda for offences under Sections 406, 409, 420,
120-B, 34 IPC, the investigation concerning role of others being still

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 6 of 19
pending. It is not disputed that the Magistrate took cognizance on the
said charge-sheet, having issued process and secured the presence of
Surendra Kumar Hooda (who was in judicial custody at that point of
time). The case, however, is still at the threshold, some applications
of certain complainants and the subject of scrutiny in the context of
compliance with Section 207 Cr. PC being pending.

5. Surendra Kumar Hooda was arrested on 20.09.2017 in case FIR
no.114/2016. While he was in custody in the said case, he was also
formally arrested in the other two FIRs on 31.10.2017. He had
applied for release on bail (by application nos.1873-5/2017) in the
context of the said three FIRs, his applications being dismissed by a
common order passed by an Additional Sessions Judge on 18.12.2017.
On 19.12.2017, the charge-sheet in case FIR no.114/2016 had come
up before the court of cognizance.

6. The petitioner Surendra Kumar Hooda approached this court by
similar bail applications in the three cases but opted to withdraw the
same on 22.12.2017, taking liberty to approach the court of Sessions
yet again. His fresh applications were granted by the court of Sessions
by almost identical orders passed by another Additional Sessions
Judge (Vacation Judge) on 29.12.2017, taking note, inter alia, his age
(76 years), the ailments suffered, the period of custody undergone,
“deposit” of Rs.6.10 Crores by him and the fact that charge-sheet had
already been filed. The said order was corrected by the sessions court
on 30.12.2017, on his own application, to take note of the fact that the
said amount had actually not been deposited but only proof of funds to

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 7 of 19
that extent had been furnished to the official liquidator for revival of
the company.

7. The State felt aggrieved by the orders releasing Surendra Kumar
Hooda on bail and challenged the same by petitions (Crl. MC
3335/2018, 3336/2018 and 3360/2018) and was joined by some of the
aggrieved parties (investor complainants) filing their own independent
petitions. All the said petitions were disposed of by a common order
by this court rendered on 26.07.2018, the orders of release on bail in
favour of Surendra Kumar Hooda having been set aside and vacated,
with consent, it having been conceded that the same were non-
speaking, the background facts not having been taken note of nor the
submissions of either side dealt with. The issue of release on bail of
the said petitioner was remitted to the court of Sessions, protection of
the order earlier granted, however, having been allowed to continue.

8. The Additional Sessions Judge heard the parties again and by a
detailed order passed on 09.10.2018 dismissed the applications for bail
taking note, inter alia, of the facts against the backdrop of which these
cases have come up for investigation and action under the criminal
law.

9. On the other hand, there is material to show that petitioner Sunil
Gandhi had failed to make himself available to the investigating
agency, having become elusive. The investigating officer was
constrained to approach the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate who issued
non-bailable warrant against him on 07.12.2017. The presence of
Sunil Gandhi could not be procured despite such process and
consequently, the investigating officer moved application in the court

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 8 of 19
of Magistrate praying for issuance of proclamation under Section 82
Cr. PC. which was granted on 11.01.2018, returnable for 26.02.2018.
Against the said backdrop, Sunil Gandhi moved application for
anticipatory bail before the court of Sessions. He was granted interim
protection against coercive steps by an Additional Sessions Judge by
order dated 16.02.2018, which protection continued for sometime.
However, his applications (nos.234/2018, 236/2018 and 237/2018) in
the context of the three cases were dismissed by the said court by a
common order passed on 31.03.2018, the submission of the
investigating agency to the effect that custodial interrogation was
required having been accepted.

10. Thereafter, the petitioner Sunil Gandhi approached this court by
the three captioned petitions. Noticeably, at that point of time, the
other petitioner Surendra Kumar Hooda was on bail granted by the
court of Sessions, the cancellation of which orders was being prayed
by the State and others through the petitions referred to earlier.
Against this backdrop, a similar protection was accorded to Sunil
Gandhi against arrest.

11. The charge-sheet which has been filed against Surendra Kumar
Hooda in FIR no.114/2016, and the status reports filed by the
investigating agency in the context of all the three FIRs (i.e. 114/2016,
116/2016 and 64/2016) from time to time, inter alia, reveal that as
many as 112 complaints had been received regarding Spire Wood
project which involves investments of more than Rs.50 Crores. A
large number of investors in the other project (i.e. Spire Edge) are also
similarly aggrieved. It was conceded at the hearing by the counsel for

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 9 of 19
the petitioners that the residential project (Spire Wood) is nowhere
near completion, the date of completion as represented to the investors
having long lapsed. On the other hand, there is some material to show
that the commercial project (Spire Edge) had seen some development,
a few blocks still to be developed, at least three blocks (nos.B, C D)
having been readied (to an extent), the claim of the petitioners being
that all the units in the said block have already been handed over to the
respective allottees / investors.

12. It is the contention of the petitioners that the company had faced
some financial constraints and on that account it had been unable to
complete the two projects within time and that, in order to show
bonafide, the company court had been approached by a petition under
Sections 391 and 393 of the Companies Act, 1956, through Company
Petition no.704/2014, in the course of consideration of which a revival
scheme has been proposed so that the projects could be completed
with the aid and assistance of another company (Alfa Corp.
Development Pvt. Ltd.) which had shown interest and come up as
potential investor to carry the projects forward. Reliance is placed on
orders dated 16.10.2018 in Company Application (M) 115/2016 and
Company Application 332/2018 and order dated 08.03.2019 in
Company Petition no.6/2019. The revival scheme which, the
petitioners claim, has the approval of the official liquidator and the
backing of a majority of the stake holders, is expected to come up
before the Company court in near future to bring succor and relief to
the affected parties i.e. the complainants herein.

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 10 of 19

13. But, the investigating agency through the Additional Standing
Counsel pointed out that the three cases from which the present
petitions arise come from a backdrop showing web of conceit
involving a series of transactions that reflect the intent to defraud a
large number of customers, the funds collected having been siphoned
off intentionally so as to dishonestly appropriate them for purposes
other than those intended to be used at the time of receipt from the
investors, the conduct of the petitioners and others connected to them,
particular name of Ashish Bhalla referred in this context, being of total
non-cooperation with the probe. It was submitted that given the
magnitude of the frauds which have been committed, the
Commissioner of Police has been constrained to constitute a Special
Investigation Team (SIT) which is headed by an Assistant
Commissioner of Police (ACP) and supervised by a Deputy
Commissioner of Police (DCP).

14. The status reports submitted by the ACP of the SIT of EOW
reveal, inter alia, that there is evidence gathered to show that when the
investments were invited from the public at large, no approvals had
been obtained, in terms of the conveyance deeds, from HSIIDC, the
land being under mortgage with two banks, the representation to the
investors on the contrary being that the subject property was free from
all kinds of encumbrances, liens, etc. The evidence which has been
gathered thus far reveals that 40% of the stake in the company is
controlled by M/s. Schleicher Intec Pvt. Ltd. which, in turn, is owned
by the petitioner Surendra Kumar Hooda, 10% of the stake being
controlled by the petitioner Sunil Gandhi. In the wake of allegations

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of fraudulent diversion of funds, the investigating agency issued
orders freezing the bank accounts (14 in number) of the company, the
reports received from the concerned banks revealing there being
insignificant credit balances.

15. The further probe has brought out that the amounts collected
from the investors in the above mentioned two projects have been
dishonestly diverted, inter alia, by the two petitioners to certain
entities in which they have either direct or indirect control. This is
illustrated by the transfer of Rs.4 Crore to M/s. Green Edge
Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. in March 2010, transfer of Rs.3 Crores to M/s.
J.S.M.S. Holdings Pvt. Ltd. in March 2010 and transfer of Rs.8.40
Crores in January, 2011 to M/s. Inspire Infraventures Pvt. Ltd. There
is also material available to show that the amount transferred to Green
Edge was further transferred to M/s. Vera-Edu Infra Pvt. Ltd. which is
in the control of Sandeep Hooda, son of petitioner Surendra Kumar
Hooda. Though it does appear that the said amounts have eventually
come back to M/s. A.N. Buildwell Pvt. Ltd., the very transfers under
the cover of land development agreements is questionable.

16. Similarly, an amount of Rs.18.60 Crores is stated to have been
transferred, in different tranches, from the account of M/s. A.N.
Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. to the account of another entity M/s. Charmswood
Realtech Pvt. Ltd., a company with which the petitioner Sunil Gandhi
has a clear connection, its office being at the same location as is used
by the said petitioner, the persons shown as shareholders being his
close associates. The amount thus transferred to Charmswood, in turn,
seems to have been passed on further to three different companies viz.

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 12 of 19

M/s. B.S. Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd., M/s. Punyabhoomi Real Estate Pvt.
Ltd. and M/s. Devlok Real Estate Pvt. Ltd. in the sum of Rs.13.09
Crores, Rs.1.97 Crores and Rs.1.65 Crores respectively. The said
companies, the evidence collected so far shows, have further passed
on the said money to different entities, there being no cogent
explanation for the same.

17. The evidence collected also shows that the amounts which
were transferred from the bank accounts of M/s. A.N. Buildwell Pvt.
Ltd. to the three companies with which petitioner Surendra Kumar
Hooda has connection were authorised by Sunil Gandhi. Conversely,
the amounts which were transferred to the three companies with which
Sunil Gandhi has connection were authorised by Surendra Kumar
Hooda and Ashish Bhalla.

18. The evidence which has been collected prima facie further
shows that a large number of public persons have been persuaded by
false representations to part with money, the amounts collected being
quite substantial running into hundreds of crores of rupees. The
money which was collected for purposes of development of the two
projects was unauthorisedly diverted and transferred to other
companies of the petitioners and their associates, this adding to it the
colour of mis-appropriation. Since the investors had handed over their
money for the specific purpose of developing the projects where they
were to receive the possession of units (residential or commercial), the
diversion of funds resulting in the company not being in a position to
carry forward the development work which was consequently delayed

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inordinately, or indefinitely, the allegations of criminal breach of trust
seem to be well founded.

19. The learned counsel for the petitioner Sunil Gandhi was at pains
to argue that the facts which have been brought out through the
investigation reports (tentative or final) do not make out a case of
offence under Section 409 IPC, his argument being that none of the
persons shown to be involved are public servants. He placed reliance
on R. Venkatkrishnan vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2009) 11
SCC 737, Raghunath Anant Govilkar vs. State of Maharashtra and
Ors, (2008) 11 SCC 289 and Central Bureau of Investigation vs.
Ramesh Gelli and Ors, (2016) 3 SCC 788.

20. In the considered view of this court, the reliance on the above-
said three decisions in support of the above mentioned proposition is
misplaced. In none of the said cases, it has been held that the offence
under Section 409 IPC cannot be attracted unless the accused person is
a public servant or, further, that the other positions mentioned in the
said penal clause (i.e. banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or
agent) must be of a person who is also a public servant. Noticeably,
the said cases concerned offence of criminal breach of trust allegedly
committed by public servants and the observations made therein have
to be understood in that light.

21. The persons accused here, and that include the petitioners
before this court, are merchants (or their agents) vis-a-vis the
complainants whose money they had collected for specific purposes
but which money was diverted and appropriated, in breach of trust for
ulterior purposes and fraudulently. In these circumstances, the

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argument that the offence under Section 409 IPC is not attracted here
or that the case involves lesser offences of cheating (Section 420 IPC)
or criminal breach of trust (Section 406 IPC) only, must be rejected.

22. The revival scheme may be under consideration of the
Company Court. It may be that pursuant to the first order of the
Company Court in its respect, the meetings of the stake holders may
have evinced approval by majority of different set of stake holders.
But then, it was pointed out that the investors have given indication of
their interest in the revival scheme, based on aid and assistance of
another potential investor propped up by the petitioners, with
reservations expressed by the majority seeking modifications. It is
still uncertain as to what shape such revival scheme would take and as
to when dividends might be reaped by anyone from such scheme.
From the perspective of the investors, they continue to be in lurch,
there being no clear time-lines as to when they would have either their
money refunded or the fruits of their investments handed over to them.

23. It was pointed out, and this is crucial, that in the scheme (para
15.7), it was indicated that upon its coming into effect all action in
law, including criminal, against the company, its directors (including
former) and officers were to come to a standstill (stayed sine die). It is
the contention of the investors (who intervened to object to the prayer
in these petitions) that the above clause reveals the real intent i.e. to
escape the criminal process. This apprehension cannot be said to be
unfounded.

24. It was also pointed out at the hearing that though the evidence
so far collected would show that all the directors of the company and

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others related thereto have been in league with each other, they have
been trying to evade the process by shifting the blame on to each
other. This was illustrated by reference to the submissions made on
behalf of the petitioner Sunil Gandhi at the time of consideration of his
bail applications leading to order dated 31.03.2018 of the Additional
Sessions Judge, and by Ashish Bhalla at the time of consideration of
his bail application (no.1612/2017) which was dismissed by order
dated 11.10.2017 of another Additional Sessions Judge. It was
pointed out that while Sunil Gandhi would accuse Ashish Bhalla for
the misdemenor, Ashish Bhalla on his part would accuse Sunil Gandhi
of entire responsibility.

25. The petitioners argued that the company M/s. A.N. Buildwell
Pvt. Ltd. had earned profits to the tune of over Rs.40 Crores, placing
reliance on certificate dated 06.02.2018 of a chartered accountant. It
is their contention that the monies which were transferred to the
various entities were for purposes of land development (and land
procurement), drawn from such profits, there being no act committed
to divert funds which have been collected from the complainant
investors. This ex facie cannot be believed for the simple reason that
but for such diversions, the accounts of the company would not have
become empty. It is the scarcity of the funds thereby created which
has led to the work of development of the two projects being stalled
fraudulently.

26. In Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy vs. Central Bureau of Investigation,
(2013) 7 SCC 439, the Supreme Court observed :

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“34. Economic offences constitute a class apart and
need to be visited with a different approach in the
matter of bail. The economic offences having deep
rooted conspiracies and involving huge loss of public
funds need to be viewed seriously and considered as
grave offences affecting the economy of the country as
a whole and thereby posing serious threat to the
financial health of the country.”

27. Further, in State of Gujarat vs. Mohanlal Jitamalji Porwal and
Anr., (1987) 2 SCC 364, the Supreme Court observed :

“5. The entire Community is aggrieved if the economic
offenders who ruin the economy of the State are not
brought to book. A murder may be committed in the
heat of moment upon passions being aroused. An
economic offence is committed with cool calculation
and deliberate design with an eye on personal profit
regardless of the consequence to the Community. A
disregard for the interest of the Community can be
manifested only at the cost of forfeiting the trust and
faith of the Community in the system to administer
justice in an even handed manner without fear of
criticism from the quarters which view white collar
crimes with a permissive eye unmindful of the damage
done to the national economy and national interest.”

28. In Neeru Yadav and another vs. State of U.P., (2014) 16 SCC
508, in the context of a jurisdiction under Section 439 Cr. PC, the
Supreme Court, inter alia, observed that “(a)ccent on individual
liberty cannot be pyramided” to bring “chaos and anarchy” to the
society, “the liberty” of an individual being “not absolute”, the
“collective wisdom” of the society through process of law permitted to
deprive the offender of such liberty in the interest of “the societal
order”.

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29. In similarly placed fact-situation, in another case reported as
Sunil Grover vs. State, 2012 SCC Online Del 3539, a co-ordinate
bench of this court had observed, inter alia, thus :

“12. …the petitioner floats advertisements and invites
the offers from the members of the public to invest
money in their schemes by promising them lucrative
returns at regular intervals. He is able to gain their
confidence and cheat them of their hard-earned
money … This kind of activity ultimately shows a
great deal of deliberation, preparation and operation
which can be done only by an intelligent person and
this whole exercise has been rightly observed by the
learned Sessions Judge to be actuated by a mentality
“to get richer overnight” at the instance of the general
public or investors. I would say that this is a mentality
of a class of persons who have the capacity and the
temerity to lead a lavish life and create assets at the
miseries of the general public by making them invest
their hard earned money with them. It will send a
wrong signal in case the bail is granted to such
persons. This tendency is to be curbed by denying the
benefit of bail to such persons…”

30. The scheme brought before the Company Court in the company
petition filed in 2014 seems to be more of a ruse presented in an
endeavour to buy time. The investors cannot wait indefinitely. Even
if it were to be taken as an endeavour made to make amends, it cannot
detract from the fact that serious crimes were committed in the past to
bring the company to a position where it could not carry forward the
two projects on account of financial crunch intentionally created.

31. Having regard to the gravity and seriousness of the crimes
involved here, the impact thereof on a large number of innocent

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investors, they being deprived of the fruits of their hard-earned money,
the effort made throughout in the last three years to thwart the
investigative process, petitioner Sunil Gandhi having eluded the
process by absconding, there being apparently a case for his custodial
interrogation, the other petitioner prima facie being complicit
throughout, this court is not inclined to release either of them on bail
at this stage.

32. The petitions and the applications filed therewith are dismissed.
The interim orders stand vacated. The petitioner Surendra Kumar
Hooda is directed to surrender back to custody of the concerned court
forthwith. The other petitioner Sunil Gandhi is directed to join
investigation by presenting himself before the investigating officer
without further delay or default.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

APRIL 04, 2019
yg

Bail Appln. 903-18, 2458-18, 2459-18, 2460-18, 905-18 913-18 Page 19 of 19

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