Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant bail to a man accused of cheating a woman over the promise of a favourable decision in the court. The woman allegedly paid 16,50,000 to the accused who guaranteed the release of her son on bail.
“This tendency of guaranteeing the decision to come in favour of one party or the other amounts to maligning a particular Judge and at large, the institution itself by giving an impression that justice can be bought and the Prosecutors and Judges can be sold. These vexatious attempts are rampant and this has to be nipped in the bud,” noted Justice Bharati Dhingre.
The single judge bench further added, “grave and peculiar facts of the case where cheating is for manipulating court proceedings would disentitle the man for release on bail. Though the offence punishable is under Section 420, the nature of the allegations levelled against the Applicant where the Complainant has been duped for the aforesaid amount on the assurance that the bail will be sought by effecting ‘settlement’, makes the offence grave and this peculiar fact, dis-entitle the applicant to be released on bail.”
Justice Dhingre drew the attention towards the common practice of settling legal matters, sometimes without the counsel’s knowledge too.
“It is not an uncommon feature that when the matter is pending before the particular Court, the parties indulge into a transaction under the guise of ‘settlement’ and sometimes it so happens, even without the knowledge of counsel on record, who may prefer to argue the case on its merit,” noted the bench.
The accused and applicant Minol Anil Hudda was arrested on October 9 last year under Section 420 (cheating) and Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of Indian Penal Code.
The complainant, Pushpalata V. Gandhi, from Vasai outside Mumbai had approached Minol Anil Hudda in connection to the arrest of her son. Her 20-year old son was booked under relevant sections of the IPC and POCSO Act for dating a minor. He was booked on January 21, 2020.
Desperate for her son’s release, Pushpalata was introduced to Minol who guaranteed her the release of her son. She paid an amount of Rs 16,50,000 in installments. He had assured his father is a well-known lawyer and will secure the bail within 15 days. However, her son didn’t get bail.
After Pushpalata inquired, Minol allegedly started giving evasive responses. Taking note of the situation, the woman filed a complaint against him.
The single-judge bench of Justice Bharati Dhingre was hearing Minol’s plea. He had moved Bombay High Court for bail through Advocate A I Mookutiar, Advocate Adnan A Mookutiar, and Advocate Sanjay Bhatia.
“Though the offence prima facie is of cheating, it seems that cheating is for the purpose of manipulation of the proceedings in the court… It is not uncommon feature that when the matter is pending before the particular court, the parties indulge into transaction under the guise of ‘settlement’ and sometimes it so happens, even without the knowledge of counsel on record, who may prefer to argue the case on its merit,” the HC noted.