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Sushil Sachdeva @ Sunil Sachdeva vs State Of Punjab on 23 January, 2020

In The High Court for the States of Punjab and Haryana
At Chandigarh

CRM-M-2105-2020 (OM)
Date of Decision:- 23.1.2020

Sushil Sachdeva @ Sunil Sachdeva … Petitioner

Versus

State of Punjab … Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE GURVINDER SINGH GILL

Present:- Mr. P.K.S.Phoolka, Advocate, for the petitioner.

Ms. Rashmi Attri, AAG, Punjab,
assisted by SI Gurjant Singh.

Mr. Surya Kumar, Advocate, for the complainant.

*****

GURVINDER SINGH GILL, J.

1. The petitioner has approached this Court seeking grant of

anticipatory bail in a case registered vide FIR No.254, dated

19.12.2019, registered at Police Station Sangat, District Bathinda,

under Section 406 IPC.

2. The FIR was lodged at the instance of Daljit Singh wherein it has

been alleged that he had earlier been running a factory namely Punjab

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Fort Phyto Chemicals Limited, G.T. Road, Massana Sangat Kalan,

and had taken loan for running the factory including loan from

Punjab Financial Corporation but somehow the product manufactured

was not of good quality and the factory ran into losses. Ultimately

being unable to continue running the factory he gave possession of

the same to Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) which deputed a

security guard at the said factory. It is alleged that the complainant

usually remained in USA or in Chandigarh. However, pursuant to

receipt of several notices he had visited PFC for “one time

settlement”. When he once visited the factory premises, he saw that

the entire machinery and the sheds had been dismantled and the

factory had turned into shambles. When the complainant made

inquiries from the security guard namely Vilas Ram present there he

stated that the security guard posted earlier would be knowing more

about the same. The complainant thereafter made inquiries from a

nearby dhaba and from some other persons and also met Manna

Singh (Thekedar) who informed that an auction had been conducted

of the material lying in the factory. The complainant came to know

that the successful bidder/contractor, in connivance with employees

of PFC, had misappropriated various articles from the factory

premises which was in possession of PFC department and had thus

caused loss to the tune of `1 crore. It is further stated therein that

although PFC had come to know about the said misappropriation and

a team had also visited the factory to conduct an inquiry but no action

has been taken thereupon.

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3. It is further the case of prosecution that during the course of

investigation it had surfaced that complainant Daljit Singh had raised

a loan of about `60 lakhs from various financial institutions and also

from Punjab Financial Corporation but on account of the non-

payment of the loan, possession of the premises had been taken by

PFC in the year 1998. Subsequently, in order to realize the dues of

loan, the machinery lying therein was put to auction on 6.3.2018 and

petitioner-Sushil Sachdeva @ Sunil Sachdeva was the successful

bidder having made an offer of `18 lakhs for purchase of the

machinery. On 18.4.2018 a memo of sale of movable assets was

entered into. It further surfaced that in fact initially the covered area

of the factory premises was 15968 Sq. feet which had now been

reduced to 6268 Sq. feet and that in this manner an area of about

9000 Sq. ft. had been dismantled and the dismantled material had

been misappropriated.

4. Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that he has falsely

been implicated in the present case and that the petitioner was the

successful bidder and pursuant thereto he was entitled to remove the

machinery etc. lying there. It has further been submitted that in fact

the entire factory premises had been videographed at the time of the

conduct of auction and subsequently when the petitioner went to the

premises to remove the auctioned articles he realised that several

articles were missing and regarding which he submitted an

application to PFC. Learned counsel in this context has drawn the

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attention of this Court to letter dated 27.4.2018 issued by M/s GDF

(India) (Annexure P-4) of which the accused is the partner.

5. It has further been submitted that there is no reliable evidence to

show that the petitioner had dismantled any part of the factory

premises. The learned counsel in this context has also drawn the

attention of this Court to certain office notings (Annexure P-5) which

the petitioner had obtained by way of filing application under RTI

Act 2005. The relevant extract to which the petitioner has drawn

attention reads as follows:

“The sheds installed outside the main building are the supporting
structure of machinery installed there and are of temporary nature.
These sheds are made of tin sheets and erected on iron pillar and
one shed is without tin sheets. If approved, we may allow the same
to be taken by the purchaser to avoid litigation with him as he is
alleging that at the time of sale of machinery these supporting
structures were considered part of machinery and sold to him in
auction. The purchaser also claims that he enhanced the bid amount
due to his request to allow him to take the supporting structures
with machinery at the time of auction.”

6. Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the aforesaid

noting itself clearly shows that the PFC had recommended the

removal of the tin-sheets and that in these circumstances the

petitioner cannot be said to have committed any offence.

7. On the other hand, learned State counsel has submitted that only

certain articles in the nature of movables and machinery lying in the

premises had been put to auction and the petitioner being the

successful bidder was required to remove the said machinery only

and had no right to dismantle the structure existing on the premises

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and to remove the iron-sheets and girders used for construction of the

said structures/shed as the same was never part of the advertisement

put up for auction of the machinery-material lying in the factory

premises.

8. I have considered rival submissions addressed before this Court. A

perusal of agreement dated 18.4.2018 i.e. memorandum of sale of

movable property (Annexure P-2) and the list annexed thereto shows

that it is nowhere mentioned that the part of structure had also been

auctioned or that the tin-sheets of the building erected therein had

also been put to sale. Although as per the information received by

the petitioner under RTI Act, as reproduced above, it does appear that

some officials had prepared a noting for permitting the petitioner to

remove the tin-sheets but the learned State counsel has informed that

the said noting was never approved by the concerned authorities and

that in fact such type of noting shows that some of the officials of the

PFC were conniving with the petitioner and were trying to help him.

9. During the course of arguments, learned State counsel further

submitted that whenever any property seized by PFC is taken over by

PFC on account of any default on part of the loanee, regular

inspection-assessment of the property is got done to ensure that there

is no pilferage of any articles lying in the said property. It has been

submitted that while such assessments carried out between the year

1998-2016 show that the covered area of the property in question is

shown to be about 15000 Sq. feet approximately but in the

inspections conducted on 3.12.2018 and thereafter the covered area is

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shown to be about 6000 Sq. feet only. The learned State counsel has

drawn the attention of this Court to a document which is a part of the

police file wherein the details of such inspections has been referred to

as follows:

Re: M/s Punjab Phyto Chemicals, Bathinda.

S. No. Name of the valuers Date of Covered area
Assessment in Sq. ft.
1 Sh. C.L.Sharma 4.6.1998 15996
2 Sh. A.J.Dhillon (PSIDC) 20.5.1998 14447
3 M/s Yamuna Engg. 12.8.2000 15102
4 M/s A.K.Kapoor 3.9.2000 15960
5 M/s Yamuna Engg. 7.11.2003 15102
6 M/s Goyal Assess. 15.6.2016 15968
7 M/s Punjab Engg. 3.12.2018 6268
8 Sh. Tirlochan Singh 10.12.2018 6268
9 Sh. K.S.Sobti 16.1.2018 7249

10. The aforesaid assessments clearly show that it was after the auction

in April, 2018 that the covered area of the factory premises came to

be drasticly reduced from 15000 Sq. Feet (approximately) to 6000

Sq. Feet (approximately). It is thus apparent that an area of

approximately 9000 Sq. Feet of the structure/shed has been

dismantled and the dismantled articles which would include girders

and tin-sheets etc. had been removed although the said structure had

not been put to sale by way of auction. As such, it is prima facie

evident that valuable properties have been removed from the

premises in question without any authorization. Nothing could be

shown to this Court by learned counsel for the petitioner that

petitioner was authorized to dismantle the shed and to remove the tin-

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sheets, girders and other articles retrieved on account of such

dismantling.

11. In view of the aforesaid discussion this Court does not find any

special case for grant of anticipatory bail. The petition is sans any

merit and the same is hereby dismissed.

January 23, 2020 (GURVINDER SINGH GILL)
mohan JUDGE

Whether speaking /reasoned Yes / No

Whether Reportable Yes / No

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