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Suryakant Sandibigraha & Anr. vs The State Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi on 24 September, 2018

* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

% Judgment Reserved on : 14th August, 2018
Judgment delivered on: 24th September, 2018

+ BAIL APPLN. 494/2018
SURYAKANT SANDIBIGRAHA ANR. ….. Petitioners
versus

THE STATE GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI ….. Respondent

Advocates who appeared in this case:
For the Petitioners : Mr. Lalit Choudhary, Ms. Priya Sharma and
Mr. Jaskirat Narula, Advs.

For the Respondent : Ms. Neelam Sharma, Addl. PP for the State
with Inspr. Samar Pal, Cyber/EOW
Mr. Manoj Ohri, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Rajesh
Kr. Singh, Mr. Sagar Roy, Mr. Nawab Singh
Jaglan and Mr. Abhimanyu Singh, Advs.
For the complainant.

CORAM:-
HON’BLE MR JUSTICE SANJEEV SACHDEVA

JUDGMENT

SANJEEV SACHDEVA, J

1. The petitioner seeks regular bail in FIR No. 17 of 2017 under
Sections 408/419/420/467/468/471/447A/120B/34 of the IPC and
Section 66 (C) (D) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Police
Station EOW Wing.

2. The allegations in the FIR are that the complainant had opened
a proprietorship concern for manufacturing and trading office

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 1 of 8
furniture. Petitioner no. 1 was the accountant of petitioner no. 2,
Service In charge of the said concern. The husband of the prosecutrix
was running, controlling and managing affairs of her business besides
running another proprietorship concern.

3. It is contended that in the year 2008 husband of the prosecutrix
was diagnosed with serious health problem because of which the
prosecutrix herself became busy in his treatment and entrusted all
accounting responsibilities to petitioner no. 1, being the senior most
employee of the firm.

4. It is contended that in July, 2016 when the condition of her
husband improved, he started involving himself in the affairs of her
concern as well as his concern and noticed suspicious transactions in
the accounts of both firms, inter-alia, in ticket bookings, online
shopping, Paytm recharges, purchasing from unknown parties, online
transfers to vendors, contractors and individuals who had no
association with the two concerns. When enquiries were made and
account books of both the concerns were got verified, it was found
that approximately Rs. 5 crores had been misappropriated.

5. It is alleged that petitioner no. 1 induced the prosecutrix in
opening bank accounts in the name of her firm in private banks and
obtained authorization for online banking facilities, without the
knowledge of the prosecutrix. It is alleged that probably the signatures
of the prosecutrix and her husband were forged for obtaining online

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 2 of 8
banking facility. It is further alleged that in online banking facility the
accused had dishonestly quoted his mobile number and e-mail ID,
instead of the mobile number and e-mail ID of the prosecutrix. By
availing online banking facility, huge sums of money have been
transferred and siphoned off.

6. It is alleged that several lakhs of rupees have been transferred to
individuals, who had no concerns with the firms, personal shopping
has been done. Funds have been siphoned off and account books have
been dressed up by making fake entries in the accounts. FIR further
alleges that several properties have been purchased in their names and
names of their family members.

7. Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the petitioners
have been falsely implicated. He submits that all banking transactions
have been done by the petitioners, under instructions of the
complainant and her husband and online transactions, were also done
for booking travel tickets and shopping of complainant and her
husband as well as booking tickets for the employees of the firm. So,
the allegation that they were not aware of the transactions is baseless.

8. Further, it is contended that the registered mobile numbers in
the bank accounts were that of the firm and not the personal mobile
number of petitioner no. 1. It is contended that the allegation that the
husband of the prosecutrix was not well is false as he was well and
used to go office daily and used to sign bills and was aware of all

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 3 of 8
financial transactions. It is submitted that the books of accounts were
duly audited by chartered accountants and were signed by the
complainant and her husband as such they were fully aware of all the
transactions and have also reflected the profits in their income tax
returns.

9. Status report has been filed by learned Addl. PP appearing for
the State. It is alleged that investigation has shown that the husband of
the prosecutrix was diagnosed with serious health problem towards
end of 2008. In February 2009, the prosecutrix was engaged in his
treatment for an Autoimmune Disorder by the name Wegeners
Granulamatosis: a very rare disease. He was undergoing
Chemotherapy in MAX Saket, which finished in August 2009 after
which he was under medication to bring the disease under Remission.
The total period under this treatment was five years, which finished in
the year 2014 and thereafter he was advised not to carry out hard work
and remain in clean and sterile environment so that Wegeners does not
reoccur.

10. It is alleged that during inquiry and investigation it has been
established that all payments have been debited from the bank
accounts of the two concerns and online transactions have been done
by petitioner no. 1 from the official e-mail IDs allotted to him and his
personal e-mail ID which was registered for online net banking at
corporation banks and other banks. Personal e-mail IDs were used for
online purchases from online stores; for making purchases for himself

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 4 of 8
and his family. Travel bookings for his family and relatives were done
from online payments, online shopping from various shopping sites
were done and articles delivered to the residence of petitioner no. 1.
Even the premiums for the insurance policies of petitioner no. 1 and
his family members were paid through the accounts of the company
and were debited as Drawings/Company expenses.

11. Approximately Rs. 46 lakhs were misappropriated through
bearer cheques; amounts withdrawn by forging signatures of
contractors and additional online transfers made to the contractors.

12. As per the status report, petitioner no. 2 opened a bogus firm in
the name and style of M/s S.S. International in August 2007 with the
connivance of other co-accused. Invoices were raised by said
concerns, which were bogus. No material was received from the firm
but bills were entered into books of accounts, without the approval of
the complainant or her husband and payment being made through
online transfers. Money so received in the account of S.S.
International was immediately withdrawn through ATM by petitioner
no. 2.

13. Scrutiny of bank accounts of S.S. International shows that all
the credit entries were only from the concerns of the prosecutrix and
her husband and the withdrawal of money only through ATM. No
evidence or proof was provided for purchase of raw material or goods,
for sale to the concerns of the prosecutrix or her husband. No

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 5 of 8
payments were made by S.S. International to any other party for
purchase of material. During the period 2007 to 2016 approximately
Rs. 1.17 crores were siphoned off by raising bogus bills.

14. It is further contended that call recording has been found in the
memory of the mobile phone of petitioner no. 2 wherein he is
acknowledging and accepting his guilt to the other accused.

15. Investigation has revealed that petitioner no. 1 had transferred
money to his own and his relatives’ accounts and this siphoned off
money was used for purchase of various properties in Delhi and
Orissa in his own name as well as in the name of his relatives. Ten
properties had been identified until filing of the status report. 33
accounts were opened by petitioner no. 1, in different banks in his
own name and in the names of his relations. Cash deposits were made
in these accounts.

16. Approximately Rs. 78 lakhs had been detected in these
accounts. Approximately Rs. 20.5 lakhs were transferred from the
complainant company to an ex-employee.

17. During course of the investigation, forensic audit of both the
companies had been done by the complainant through chartered
accountant and said chartered accountant has reported fraudulent
unauthorized payments of approximately 5.25 crores. Status report
gives the details of the suspected transactions.

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 6 of 8

18. Further investigation has revealed that 142 bearer cheques that
were issued to the various contractors, were encashed by putting fake
signatures of the bearer of the cheques, while corresponding online
payments were also made to the contractors thereby withdrawing
double payments for an alleged supply. It is alleged that after
registration of FIR two of the properties, which were purchased by
petitioner no. 1, have been sold off and money appropriated.

19. It is further contended that petitioner no. 1 and petitioner no. 2
were employed with the complainant and drawing a salary of
approximately Rs. 40,000/- and Rs. 20,000/- per month respectively
and despite having salaries of Rs. 40,000/- and Rs. 20,000/-
respectively, petitioner no. 1 had purchased 10 properties worth crores
of rupees and 34 bank accounts had been opened and several lakhs of
rupees deposited in these accounts, which was way beyond the
income capacity of both the petitioners.

20. Learned counsel for the petitioners, under instructions, submits
that approximately Rs. 75 lakhs have been seized in the accounts of
the petitioner no. 1 and petitioner no. 1 is willing to undertake that he
shall not alienate or transfer any of the properties that have been
identified by the IO.

21. The offer given by the petitioners not to sell the properties that
have been identified by the IO or to utilise the amounts in his bank
account, in the facts of the present case, is not acceptable.

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 7 of 8

22. There appears to be merit in contention of learned APP that if
the petitioners are released on bail, they are likely to destroy evidence
and sell off the properties, some of which were purchased based on
power of attorneys. She submits that several crores of rupees are still
to be traced and recovered.

23. Nature of allegations and the alleged modus operandi adopted
by the petitioners in committing the offence, reveal a well-planned
systematic approach and a well-planned conspiracy in siphoning off
funds from the concerns of the complainant and her husband. Further,
on meagre salaries of Rs. 40,000/- and Rs. 20,000/- respectively,
petitioners have been able to amass wealth worth several crores of
rupees. I am of the view that releasing the petitioners on bail, at this
stage, would hamper further investigation and the petitioners may be
in a position to influence witnesses and destroy evidence.

24. Keeping in view the totality of the facts and circumstances of
the case and the nature of allegation and the material on record, I am
not inclined to admit the petitioners to bail, at this stage. The Petition
is accordingly dismissed.

25. It is clarified that observations made in this order are prima
facie and shall not be considered at the time of the trial of the case.

26. Order Dasti under signatures of the Court Master.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 /’rs’ SANJEEV SACHDEVA, J

BAIL APPLN. 494/2018 Page 8 of 8

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