Delhi HC rejects bail plea of developer accused of cheating home buyers, says offence of cheating with multi-victim aspect is serious in nature
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma [07-06-2024]




LE Correspondent


New Delhi, June 11, 2024: In a case of cheating where the directors of a builder company had neither developed the residential project nor did they return the money with interest to the investors, the Delhi High Court has refused to grant bail to the accused applicant as he failed to comply with the mediated Settlement Agreement whereby the money received from the investors/ complainants was agreed to be refunded.


The FIR, in this case, was registered on the complaint of Sandeep Anand and others, against Directors of M/s Big Bull Infrastructure Ltd., who had alleged that they had purchased a plot from M/s Big Bull Infrastructure Ltd. in year 2013 at project ‘Big Bull Ashiana’ situated at Chandwaji, Rajasthan. As per the pre-allotment letter, they had been assured to be provided with the possession of said plot within 20 months. However, the accused persons namely Satyanarayan Sharma, Yogesh Sharma and Chetan Sharma, all directors of M/s Big Bull Infrastructure Ltd. had executed MOU, but had kept on lingering the issue of delivering possession of said plot. 


The complainants had later on come to know that accused persons had not developed the said area as per MOU and had cheated many persons on the same pretext. Neither that area was developed by the accused persons nor did they return the money with interest to the investors. On the basis of these allegations, an enquiry was conducted by EOW and it was found that the accused persons were neither in possession of said land nor they had obtained any permission/license/approval from concerned government authorities for the construction of housing project. was also found that the land shown to complainants belonged to some other builder, and presently one project named as ‘London Street’ is in progress there, belonging to some other builders, and no project named as ‘Big Bull Ashiana’ had ever been constructed at the said plot.


The accused persons had neither applied in the Jaipur Development Authority for development of housing society nor had the accused obtained any permission/ approval from any government agencies. During the course of investigation, present applicant Satyanarayan Sharma and the co-accused Yogesh Sharma were arrested. However, co-accused Chetan Sharma never joined the investigation and was declared as Proclaimed Offender. 


During the course of investigation, some land situated in Village Manoharpur and Bishangarh, at Tehsil Shahpura, Rajasthan, which was suspected to have been purchased out of cheated funds. It was revealed that the co-accused Yogesh Sharma had not paid the entire sale consideration to most of the land owners, due to which, the respective land owners did not deliver the premium of the land and the land still remains in the possession of the land owners. Investigation also revealed that the accused persons had also induced some other victims to invest in the abovementioned land under the upcoming new project namely ‘Bigbull Bashera’.


The bail application before the Delhi High Court was filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking regular bail in the case registered under Sections 420/409/120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.


Stating that the matter at hand was a multi-victim case, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma noticed that a Mediated Settlement Agreement was entered into between the co-accused Yogesh Sharma and the complainants before Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre in the month of November, 2019, wherein co-accused Yogesh Sharma had undertaken to refund the money which the accused persons had received from the investors/complainants. However, since he had failed to comply with the mediation settlement despite being granted several opportunities, his bail application was dismissed by this Court on 03.05.2023.


Despite enjoying the benefit of interim bail for more than 2 years, the applicant had failed to abide by his undertaking and failed to fulfill the terms of mediated settlement agreement. One of the contentions that the applicant herein ready to settle the case with the complainants is belied by his previous conduct.


“The present case involves commission of economic offence and cheating by accused persons with multiple victims of their hardearned money”, the Bench said while adding that the investors in this case were cheated as they were shown a plot of land, which did not belong to the accused persons and they had also not obtained permission at any point of time from the authorities concerned in respect of the development of the property, as a residential housing society, which the victims were made to believe. It was thus clear that right from the inception i.e. when the plot of land in question for the purpose of development was shown to the victims and they were induced to part with their money, the intention of the accused persons was to dupe the innocent victims. The present applicant was also the authorized signatory of the bank account of the company from which funds of the investors were misappropriated. Chargesheet in this case has already been filed and charges are yet to be framed”, the Bench said.


“The offence of cheating with multi-victim aspect of the case has been found to be serious in nature, and since the witnesses are yet to be examined before the learned Trial Court and the applicant has also not complied with the undertaking given before the learned Trial Court previously, and has thus misused the interim bail granted to him for the said purpose by the learned Trial Court, this Court is not inclined to grant regular bail to the present accused/applicant, at this stage”, the Bench asserted while dismissing the bail application.

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