Decided on May 06,2020



AJAY MOHAN GOEL,J. - (1.)By way of these three petitions filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the petitioners have prayed for grant of regular bail in FIR No. 143 of 2019, dated 06.11.2019, registered under Section 420 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66(D) of the Information Technology Act at Police Station Dharampur, District Solan, H.P.
(2.)The petitioners are stated to be in custody since 08.02.2020. The allegation against the petitioners is that complainant Dr. Jai Prakash Bhatiya responded to an advertisement for the sale of a Car bearing registration No. HP-12H-8859, posted by one Shri Madan Lal, son of Shri Santokha, resident of Village and Post Office Kundlu, Tehsil Nalagarh, District Solan, H.P. on his Facebook. Complainant contacted said Madan Lal on his mobile number and agreed to purchase the Car in issue subject to fulfillment of formalities, like test drive and finalization of price. Requisite documents were sent by the complainant through WhatsApp to complete the formalities of the sale of the Car. According to the complainant, Madan Lal demanded a sum of Rs.10,500/- for documentation of the vehicle, which payment was made through Net-banking into relevant PAYTM account in two installments. Later on, the complainant received a phone call from delivery boy Vikash, who demanded a sum of Rs.31,550/- for clearance of the vehicle from Panchkula. This amount was paid in three installments by the complainant. As per the complainant, thereafter again a demand was raised for an amount of Rs.29,500/- for the payment of GST, which was followed by a demand of Rs.27,750/-. Complainant told the delivery boy that the balance amount shall be paid only after the Car was delivered.
As complainant did not make the last payment of Rs.27,750/-, the delivery boy stopped talking with him and even did not reply to his WhatsApp messages. On this, complainant suspected a foul play and accordingly, he lodged a complaint with the Police, which was registered as FIR No. 143/2019. After lodging of said FIR, the matter was investigated by the Police and as per the prosecution, the investigation has revealed that the petitioners were involved in this entire crime, whereby purportedly, a fraud was played by them upon the complainant in the guise of selling him a vehicle through advertisement on OLX, thus alluring the complainant to deposit a substantive amount in their PAYTM accounts. It is further the case of the prosecution that the PAYTM account and ATM are maintained by accused petitioner Vishnu Kumar, who keeps the entire transaction and thereafter the money is got distributed between all the petitioners.

(3.)Learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that the petitioners are 19 years young boys. They are not guilty of the offences alleged against them. They are behind bars since 08.02.2020. No recovery is to be effected from them and at present, no fruitful purpose will be solved by keeping them behind bars. He has further argued that even otherwise, taking into consideration the fact that the maximum punishment, as is envisaged under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, is seven years and as the challan has not been filed within the statutory period of 60 days, the petitioners are entitled for bail automatically. Mr. Bhushan further submitted that in case of grant of bail, the petitioners undertake to furnish the requisite securities and they also undertake to abide by all the terms and conditions which may be imposed upon them by this Court.

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