By Dhiraj BeniwalNew Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court recently dismissed the anticipatory bail pleas of four persons and the regular bail plea of one person accused of theft of Kashmiri Neelam (blue sapphire) worth Rs 3 crore by duping the complainant. The complainant wanted to sell the blue sapphire to arrange funds for the treatment of his wife. She had died for want of treatment.
Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta dismissed the anticipatory bail pleas of Rajeev Arora, Naveen Sagar, Sanjay Awasthi, Mohd. Akhtar and regular bail plea Raman Abrol after noting the facts and circumstances of the case.
While dismissing the pleas the court said, " Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the role of the accused and the manner in which the complainant has been duped of a Neelam/Blue-sapphire stone, valued at Rs. 3 Crores in conspiracy, no grounds for bail are made out."Justice Mendiratta observed, "It is unfortunate that the wife of the complainant also expired as the complainant could not arrange the necessary funds by the sale of Neelam, of which he was duped by the accused."The bench noted, "A bare perusal of the complaint in the present case reveals that there was a pre-planned conspiracy and deception played on the complainant by luring him to show the Neelam after claiming that the same was to be purchased by Raman Abrol.
Further the complainant was deceived to show the Neelam outside his premises in an Innova Car to the accused and finally duped of the same after creating a melee, the court noted in the order of November 25.
Admittedly, in the present case, the chargesheet has been filed only against accused Raman Abrol and the other petitioners herein have been placed in column no. 12 on account of interim protection granted to them vide various orders, the court noted.
The custody of the petitioners has been sought on behalf of the investigating agency for the purpose of making the recovery of the Neelam valued around Rs. 3 Crores, the bench further noted.
The court said that facts and circumstances reflect that the accused persons had been accompanying each other in the meeting and also staying at the same hotels, in a pre-planned manner. The custodial interrogation of the petitioners is imperative to recover Neelam and unfold the entire conspiracy.
Merely because the four petitioners have been granted interim protection by the High Court by various orders, cannot be a ground to automatically confirm the benefit of anticipatory bail or admit the co-accused Raman to regular bail, it added.
It may also be noticed that Fayaz and Naveen Sagar had come to meet the complainant in a car, which reflects the complicity and common plan made by the petitioners for the purpose of duping the complainant, it noted.
Even prior to the incident of 24 February 2020, accused Raman Abrol, Fayaz Mir, Akhtar Gujjar and Manjoor Ahmed Vani stayed in hotel Ivory Place at Karol Bagh from February 22 to 24 in 2020 and checked out after the incident. Further in the meeting at Hotel Crown Plaza, Sector-10, Rohini, Akhtar Gujjar is seen in the aforesaid hotel along with the accused and was even present at the time of the incident, the court said.
The role played by the co-accused in the entire incident is crucial since 4-5 persons came shouting 'police-police', the moment the Neelam was handed over to Raman who fled along with Sanjay Awasthi and Rajeev Arora, who was sitting in the car which was owned by Rajeev Arora, the court noted.
On the other hand, the bail pleas were opposed by the Additional public prosecutor (APP) for the State. The APP submitted That Proclaimed Offender (P.O.) proceedings already stand initiated against co-accused Fayaz and custodial interrogation of all the accused is required for the purpose of unearthing the complete conspiracy and recovery of Neelam, costing around Rs. 3 crores.
It was also argued that the conspiracy is writ large and is corroborated by the CCTV footage, wherein all the accused visited the premises of the complainant in two separate cars in a pre-planned manner.
The complainant Mohd. Iqbal alleged that he is a permanent resident of Kashmir and presently resides with one of his acquaintances, Prashant Kumar, at Rohini, Delhi. He had an ancestral Kashmir Blue-Sapphire (Neelam) stone weighing 13.03 carats, which he intended to sell on account of the dire need for money for purpose of treatment of his wife.
For the purpose above, he discussed the same with one Fayaz, a resident of Baramulla, Kashmir (proclaimed offender in the present case), who was already known to him, he addedHe alleged that about five days prior to the lodging of FIR i.e. February 25, 2020, Fayaz called him and informed him that he could help him in selling the Neelam to some prospective buyer. On 22.02.2020, Fayaz fixed a meeting at hotel Crown Plaza, Rohini with one Raman who claimed himself to be a South Indian and had his in-laws in Jammu.
Allegedly, Fayaz informed the complainant that Raman would give an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs as a token amount after seeing the Neelam and the balance amount would be paid after testing of Neelam in the laboratory.
Thereafter, on February 24, 2020, Fayaz came near the residence of the complainant along with his associates and asked him to show the Neelam. The complainant insisted they come inside the house, but he was asked to show Neelam to them in the Innova Car.
It is the allegation of the complainant that he came near to the Car and handed over the Neelam to Raman and another person who was sitting in the front seat. At the aforesaid time, suddenly 4 to 5 persons came shouting "police, police" on which Raman ran away from the place after keeping the Neelam with him. As such it was alleged that Raman and Fayaz in connivance with 4-5 associates, took the Neelam by deception.
During the investigation, complainant Mohd. Iqbal claimed that the cost of the said Neelam was more than Rs. 3 crores and relied upon the testing report of February 12, 2019, from International Gem Institute Testing Lab Private Ltd., Jaipur, Rajasthan and Gemstone report from another testing lab in Switzerland. (ANI)