Anil Sharma was arrested in the case on February 28, 2019. (File)
The Delhi High Court has granted bail to former CMD of the Amrapali Group of Companies Anil Kumar Sharma, who was arrested in a case of allegedly cheating homebuyers.
The high court said a perusal of the charge sheet revealed that 50 witnesses have been cited by the prosecution and evidently, it is going to be a protracted trial and no useful purpose will be served by keeping him in custody.
“Keeping the law laid down by the Supreme Court in perspective and considering the fact that the petitioner (Sharma) has already undergone one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for the offence under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), I am of the view that the petitioner is entitled to the benefit of Section 436A CrPC which has been held to be a mandatory provision by the Supreme Court,” Justice Vikas Mahajan said.
An FIR was registered by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police on the complaint of Anubhav Jain who bought 26 flats in Tower G-1 of Mr Sharma's company's project ‘Amrapali Silicon City' proposed to be developed in Sector 76, Noida.
During the investigation, it was found that Tower G-1 in the project was never sanctioned by the Noida Authority and in furtherance of criminal conspiracy, Mr Sharma sold or allotted 26 flats in that tower to the complainant who, after being induced by the accused persons, agreed to invest and made full and final payment of Rs 6.6 crore for the flats in November 2011.
On February 28, 2019, Mr Sharma and two other co-accused Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar were arrested in the case.
Senior advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey, representing Mr Sharma, submitted that the maximum sentence for the offence of cheating with which under Section 420 IPC with which the accused has been charged is seven years whereas he has been in custody for more than three years and six months.
He said that in view of the mandatory provisions of Section 436A CrPC, the petitioner is entitled to statutory bail after having undergone detention for more than one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for the offence under Section 420 IPC.
The counsel submitted that the prosecution has cited as many as 50 witnesses and the conclusion of trial is likely to take a long time and urged the high court to grant regular bail to Mr Sharma.
The bail plea was opposed by the prosecutor, who argued that it was a “multi-victim scam” and the benefit of section 436A should not be extended to the accused and sought dismissal of the petition.
As per Section 436A CrPC, a person can be released from custody if he has spent more than half of the maximum sentence prescribed for the offence.
The high court granted bail to Mr Sharma on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
It directed him not to leave the city without prior permission of the court and that he shall appear the trial court as and when the matter is taken up for hearing.
“Appellant/ applicant shall not indulge in any criminal activity and shall not communicate with or come in contact with the victim/complainant or any family members of the victim/complainant,” the high court said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)