Delhi HC denies bail to man accused of issuing fake MBBS admission letters
New Delhi: Fearing that the evidence could be tampered with, the Delhi High Court has rejected the bail application of a man accused of issuing fake MBBS admission letters to a large number of medical aspirants and amassing a substantial amount of money for the same.
A bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad has rejected the bail application of a petitioner, on 09.02.2021, noting that "Keeping in mind the magnitude of the offense and the fact that the petitioner is also an accused in a murder case this Court is not inclined to enlarge the petitioner on bail at this stage."
The petitioner Nikhil Gaurav had been associated with the Crack Ur Career Private Limited and had been also charged with the murder of one of the directors of the institute.
The case ensued in 2019 when the institution named Crack Ur Career Private Limited was charged for making false promises to students to get them enrolled in MBBS courses. Stating that the institution tied-up with various Universities, the institution allured many aspiring students and duped them of substantial amounts of money.
Hoping that the students would get admitted enrolled to MBBS courses the parents started demanding admission letters from the colleges. Following this, the accused institution copied the formats of admission letters of different colleges and provided the students with such fake admission letters.
As soon as the students got to realize that the admission letters was fake, the institution closed its office and ran away. Following this, the students and parents lodged a complaint against the institution at Police Station Janakpuri. Based on the complaints, the Police arrested the accused Nikhil Gaurav on 27.11.2019.
During the investigation, fee slips and admission letters of different universities issued by the accused persons including the petitioner were seized. Along with it, details of the bank accounts from which money was transferred, the accounts to which it was transferred was verified, and seals/stamps of various colleges were recovered from the petitioner as well.
The charge sheet further mentioned that that raids were conducted and forged ID proofs i.e. Aadhaar Card, PAN card, mobile phones and other documents were also recovered at the instance of the accused. It further stated that there was sufficient evidence on record against the accused including the petitioner that from the amount received by the accused persons, jewelry was purchased by many of them. The charge sheet further mentioned that some of the accused had been on the run.
Furthermore, the charge sheet revealed that based on the information received from Police Station Expressway, Noida, it came into notice that some of the accused were arrested under Sections 302, 201, 120B and 34 IPC for the murder of one of the Directors/partner in Crack Ur Career Pvt. Ltd. and in the charge sheet filed, the petitioner had been made an accused. Moreover, the charge sheet in the present case clearly stated that there was sufficient material against the accused of offenses under Sections 420, 467, 468, 472 IPC read with Sections 201, 120-B & 34 IPC.
Naresh Panwar, the learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the FIR hadn't contained the name of the petitioner. He further pointed out that since the FIR had been only against the company, the petitioner hadn't been responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the company.
The counsel for the petitioner further referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in R. Kalyani v. Janak C. Mehta, reported as (2009) 1 SCC 516, and the judgment of the Gujarat High Court in Criminal Misc. Application No. 3662/2011, titled Nikita Baldevbhai Dave v. State of Gujarat & 1. He contended that in these two judgments it had been laid down that employees couldn't be made vicariously liable for the offenses allegedly committed by the company unless specifically mentioned in the FIR.
The counsel for the petitioner further submitted that since the charge-sheet had been filed against the petitioner and he had already been in custody for a period of over thirteen months, the petitioner should be released on bail.
On the other hand, Meenakshi Chauhan, counsel for the State, along with SI Sandeep, PS Janak Puri, appeared for the Government of NCT of Delhi. Chauhan argued that the petitioner was part of a large-scale conspiracy where substantial amounts of money was received by the accused persons for securing admission to the complainants in MBBS courses in various colleges.
Stating that the investigation against the three accused in custody were being carried out, she added that five accused of the case had been absconding.
The counsel for the State further contended that the petitioner had been accused of offenses under Section 302, 120B, 201 of IPC for the murder of one of the Directors of Crack Ur Career Pvt. Ltd. Charge-sheet was filed in the said FIR and supportive material was found against the accused to proceed against them.
After listening to the arguments made by both the parties, the court observed that the FIR couldn't be called an Encyclopaedia and the complainants had only given the name of the company to which they had gone to get admission in MBBS courses. Only during the course of the investigation, the persons who had been responsible for this large-scale fraud has come to light. The court further noted that in the charge-sheet the petitioner has been shown as an accused.
The Court noted that the petitioner had also been accused in an offense under Section 302 for the murder of one of the Directors of the Crack Ur Career Pvt. Ltd. and a charge-sheet was filed for the same.
The Status Report indicated that the Principals of various colleges stated that the admission letters and fee receipts issued to the complainants were not issued by their colleges, adding that the college seal affixed on the admission, letters were also fake.
The material on record disclosed that the petitioner had already filed an application for bail before the Additional Session Judge and the same had been dismissed on 15.11.2020. There had been no change in circumstances since then and the bail application couldn't be entertained, the court noted.
Mentioning the ratio of the Supreme Court in R. Kalyani (supra), the HC observed that it would not be applicable to the facts of the present case.
The HC bench noted,
"The present case is one of a largescale fraud wherein fake admission letters and fake receipts have been issued by the accused to gullible students stating that they have secured admission in MBBS courses."
Finally, dismissing the bail petition along with the pending applications, the HC noted,
"In view of the fact that the investigation is still underway for three accused persons and five accused persons are still absconding and there is a reasonable apprehension that the petitioner will tamper with the evidence, which is now being collected, if enlarged on bail. Keeping in mind the magnitude of the offence and the fact that the petitioner is also an accused in a murder case this Court is not inclined to enlarge the petitioner on bail at this stage."
To view the original court order, click on the link below.