Read Order: Sonu Pater @ Pala v. State of Haryana 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 22, 2022:  While dismissing the bail plea of an accused involved in running a fake call center, the Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has highlighted its concern over the dangerous trend of the revival of thuggee, which according to the Court may be due to the administration’s slumber in ushering reforms and not pushing the required enactments to curb the menace. 

The petitioner, incarcerated upon his arrest in an FIR registered under Sections 417, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120- B IPC came up before the High Court under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) seeking bail. 

The allegations against the petitioner were that he was a member of a racket running a fake call center and allured gullible people to get jobs, to install mobile towers etc. 

The petitioner’s counsel contended that the custodial investigation would serve no purpose whatsoever, and the pre-trial incarceration would cause an irreversible injustice to the petitioner and family. On the other hand, the State counsel argued that the petitioner had criminal antecedents and bail encourages habitual offenders. 

The Court observed at the outset that the sly manner in which the petitioner and his accomplices conned, tricked, deceived, swindled the gullible complainant and her family, point towards the dangerous trend of the revival of thuggee, may be due to the administration’s slumber in ushering reforms and not pushing the required enactments to the curb the menace, but if not sternly dealt with now, it might upsurge, putting people in peril and repeating the history. 

“As per media reports, we might be acquiring a bad reputation worldwide because of these fake call centres”, opined the Court. 

Thus, given the petitioner’s criminal past coupled with the gravity of the offence, the Court opined that the petitioner was not entitled to bail at this stage. The petition was thus dismissed. 

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