Read order: Pankaj Grover vs. ED

Pankaj Bajpai

Prayagraj,August 30,2021: While rejecting the anticipatory bail application of a socio-economic offender, the Allahabad High Court has said that the offender’s monetary sound condition particularly proceed of crime obtained not by honest working but by deceiving others causes more prone situation for influencing witnesses and other evidences.

The Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh observed that in socio-economic offences proceed of crimes are larger and further, offenders are economically sound, therefore, in releasing them on bail/anticipatory bail probability of abscondance not within country but beyond country is more probable.

The observation came pursuant to a plea filed by one Pankaj Grover who was a former director of M/s Surgicoin Medequip Pvt. Ltd. and his father, who were accused of conniving and misappropriation of funds meant for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme in Uttar Pradesh. Pursuant to the same, the property which was acquired from the proceeds of crime, came to be attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

From perusal of the voluminous oral and documentary evidence collected during the course of investigation, Justice Singh found that Naresh Grover, Director of M/s Surgicoin Medequip Pvt. Ltd. in connivance with his son Pankaj Grover (present applicant) had been constantly trying to manipulate the records to conceal the “Proceeds of Crime” and had also clandestinely sold off half of the factory property after knowledge of initiation of present proceedings under the PMLA.

Justice Singh therefore opined that the written directions given by Naresh Grover to his son Pankaj Grover, which were recovered during the search clearly established that the said persons in possession or use of the property acquired out of/in lieu of “Proceeds of Crime” in the instant case were prone to encash/sell the same at the earliest opportunity to frustrate the proceedings under PMLA.

In socioeconomic offences always the court considers monetary position of the accused and amount involved in criminal case. More the accused is economically sound and more the amount involved in criminal case; it cause more the chance of affecting the requirements of criminal justice, more the accused is unfit for bail, thereby, more the chance of refusal to grant bail”, observed Justice Singh.

The High Court noted that a criminal of modern criminality are respected and influential persons with position, status, standing and means thereby, are always in a situation to influence proceeding in investigation and prosecution, tamper with the evidences and pressurize witnesses.

The Court went on to reiterate that crimes are now committed by influential persons belonging to upper class in organized manner after well planning by use of modern gadgets in the course of performance of their official, professional, business activities in which they have expertise.

Economic offenders are only concerned with their personal gain even at the cost of irreparable and serious loss to society, which provided socialization and made him a human being, provided status and position, provided respect and reputation, provided stature and means, added the Court.

Therefore, holding that the status and position of offender provided opportunity to influence investigation and prosecution, the High Court rejected the anticipatory bail application.

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment