The Delhi High Court dismissed an anticipatory bail application filed by an accused person in a case of cheating, observing that when the accused persons are under interim protection, the cooperation provided by them is not to the fullest.

In the present case, the petitioner had filed an anticipatory bail application, in a case registered under Sections 420, 468, 471, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The petitioner's counsel had argued that the petitioner was a victim of false implication in the present case. Additionally, the counsel had mentioned that the petitioner was cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Furthermore, it was asserted that the petitioner's name was not mentioned in the FIR, and there was no direct or indirect evidence linking him to the case. The counsel emphasized that the petitioner's involvement was solely based on the disclosure statement provided by the co-accused, Rajendra Mehto. It was also stated that the petitioner had not received any monetary amount, nor had he ever met with the complainant in this matter.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar observed that “The petitioner and his co-accused in a well hatched conspiracy have cheated six gullible young boys by showing them rosy picture by giving them employment in SAIL, Bokaro. The petitioner, according to the prosecution, has provided technical and logistical support by preparing forged documents and fake rubber stamps. Further, the petitioner was instrumental in getting the account opened in the name of co-accused Narender Singh Tomar through impersonation”.

Advocate R. C. Tiwari appeared for the Petitioner, whereas Advocate Nandita Rao appeared for the Respondent.

After considering the submission, the Bench noted from the status report that while the petitioner had joined the investigation, he did not fully cooperate and provided evasive responses.

Thus, the Bench observed that accused individuals tend to cooperate less when they are under interim protection.

Additionally, the Bench highlighted that the petitioner had demonstrated an intention to deceive from the outset, as he had introduced himself as Abhishek to the complainant. Another individual, the father of one of the victims, identified the petitioner as Abhishek, which is why his actual name did not appear in the FIR.

The Bench also observed that in the present case, the petitioner and his co-accused had managed to arrange medical examinations for six candidates at General Hospital, Bokaro. However, the circumstances surrounding how this was accomplished and whether any hospital staff were involved in facilitating the medical examinations were still under investigation.

Additionally, the Bench noted that the medical examination was conducted by an individual posing as Dr. Rajendra Nath (M.S. Ortho), even though no such doctor was employed by the afore-mentioned hospital.

Therefore, the High Court concluded that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was essential in this case to uncover the modus operandi and to ascertain how General Hospital, Bokaro, was utilized by the petitioner and his co-accused individuals.

Hence, considering the gravity of the offense, the modus operandi employed by the petitioner and his co-accused, and the initiation of proceedings under Section 82 CrPC against the petitioner, the High Court declined the bail application.

Cause Title: Rajeeev Kumar Yadav v. State of NCT Delhi [Neutral Citation: 2023: DHC: 7248]

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