Delhi High Court grants bail to an accused alleged of duping customers into taking loans through Chinese mobile application ‘Agile Loan’

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In an application filed under Section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 seeking regular bail in a case registered under Sections 419, 420, 354-A, 384, 389, 509 and 120-B of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), registered at PS Special Cell, Amit Sharma, J., granted bail upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 50,000/- along with one surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial Court/Duty Magistrate.

FIR was registered on the complaint of Ms. Manaswi, whereby she had stated that she had taken a loan from a mobile application by the name of ‘Agile Loan’, capable of sending critical user information to remote servers, without the knowledge of the user. Thereafter, she received a threatening phone call and was made to pay Rs. 8,000 instead of the amount due. Even after making the said payment, she continued to receive abusive phone calls and was threatened that since they had access to her contact list, they would send photographs to her relatives and friends.

During the technical enquiry conducted on the complaint, it was found that several other complaints had also been registered against the aforesaid app on the National Cyber Reporting Portal. The investigation revealed that Rs 35,92,66,662.54 was credited to the said account of Shiv Shankar Enterprises I.e., the accused proprietary firm, from its date of opening till March 2022.

It is the case of the prosecution that the present applicant helped other Chinese nationals who were responsible for building the loan app. The role of the present applicant was opening the bank accounts and facilitating the transfer of money by showing transactions with other banks.

It is the case of the prosecution that the present applicant is not the ultimate beneficiary of the cheated amount, as the money has been routed to accounts outside India. The role of the applicant, as per the case of the prosecution, is limited to facilitating the opening of bank accounts of nonexistent companies for the aforesaid transfer.

The Court noted that the accused has been in judicial custody since 15-07-2022, the charge sheet in the present case stands filed. The evidence in the case is primarily a documentary in nature and already in the possession of the Investigating Officer. The possibility of tampering with the evidence, as also of influencing the witnesses, cannot be presumed at this stage, since the evidence, as pointed out in the charge-sheet, is already in the possession of the investigating agency.

Thus, the Court admitted the applicant on bail upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 50,000/- along with one surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial Court/Duty Magistrate, further subject to the following conditions:

i. The memo of parties shows that the applicant is residing at Village Labhuani, P.O. Bankat, District Bhojpur, Bihar. In case of any change of address, the applicant is directed to inform the same to the learned Trial Court and the Investigating Officer.

ii. The applicant shall not leave India without the prior permission of the learned Trial Court.

iii. The applicant is directed to give all his mobile numbers to the Investigating Officer and always keep them operational.

iv. The applicant shall not, directly or indirectly, tamper with evidence or try to influence the witnesses in any manner.

v. The applicant shall join the investigation, as and when required by the Investigating Officer.

vi. In case it is established that the applicant tried to tamper with the evidence, the bail granted to the applicant shall stand cancelled forthwith.

[Mukesh Kumar v State of NCT of Delhi, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1379, decided on 06-03-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Mr. Sajjan K. Singh & Mr. Santosh Kumar Sahu, Advocates for the Petitioner;

Mr. Aman Usman, APP for State with SI Vikram Singh, IFSO/Special Cell.

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