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Court issues NBW against accused who fled to Singapore

Friday, October 13, 2017
By Philip Varghese

The Magistrate Court in Mumbai has also issued notice to the Passport Authority informing about issuance of the NBW against the accused in a cheque bouncing case for an amount over Rs. 10 lakhs

In an interesting development in a cheque bouncing case, the Metropolitan Magistrate at the 23rd Esplanade Court in Mumbai, has recently issued Non-Bailable Warrants against two persons for failing to appear before the court since few years after they left the country and moved to Singapore.

The Court is hearing a petition filed by Abbas Fakhruddin through his lawyer Advocate Pravin Singhal against Mark Infratrade Pvt. Ltd and accused Kunal Awasthy and Vibha Awasthy under section 70 of the Cr.PC and under section 10(3)(e) and (h) of the Passport Act, 1967, wherein the court also issued notice to the Passport Authority informing the issuing authority about issuance of the Non-Bailable Warrant against the accused in a cheque bouncing case for an amount over Rs 10 lakhs.

The Court had issued process against all the accused as per an order dated August 5, 2011, and summons were issued to the accused. However, the summons could not be served as the accused had allegedly left the address mentioned in the complaint. Even as summons were issued to the accused from time to time and not executed, the court had issued bailable warrant against the accused. In its order, K G Paldewar, Metropolitan Magistrate, observed, “On perusal of the report of the police relating to execution of bailable warrant, it appears the accused have left the premises of office which was assigned to them on lease. The Bailable Warrants could not be served as the whereabouts of the accused were unknown. This matter was transferred to the Court of 44th Court, Andheri, Mumbai, and the said Court issued proclamation against accused under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as the accused were evading the process of law.

The complainant moved application for publication of the proclamation in the news paper and the said application was allowed by this court. The complainant has got address of the accused as they are staying abroad in a foreign country at Singapore. This court has issued Bailable Warrant to both the accused through Ministry of External Affairs. However, the   said bailable warrant could not be transmitted to the said country. The Ministry of External Affairs (Extradition Section) issued letter addressing to this Court, wherein it has specific reference that there   is no extradition treaty between these two countries. However, there exists an extradition arrangement  between the two countries.” Based on this, Fakhruddin moved application for execution of Non-Bailable Warrant against the accused who are presently staying at Singapore and also execution of the NBW against the accused at the address of father-in-law of Kunal Awasthy at Madhya Pradesh.

The Magistrate in its order, observed, “On perusal of the application filed by the complainant, it appears that this complainant has taken recourse to serve the copy of summons and document to the accused through Solicitor of Supreme Court of Singapore. After receipt of the service of the summons at the instance of accused, Balendu Shukla – father-in-law of Kunal Awasthy and father of Vibha contacted the advocate of the complainant and requested him not to move application for Non-Bailable Warrant and revocation of the passport. The advocate of complainant called at Gwalior on June 11, 2017 and during that meeting, it was decided that copy of draft settlement would be given by the complainant and matter would be amicably settled. Thereafter the accused and Balendu Shukla have not contacted to the complainant for settlement.”

While issuing the NBW, the Magistrate further said, “The present dispute is relating to the dishonor of cheque and cheque is also a property. Hence, this offence falls within the ambit of offences against the property therefore issuance of Non-Bailable Warrant against accused under Section 138 Negotiable Instrument Act against a person staying at Singapore is permissible. Issue NBW against the accused for execution to the Commissioner of Police, Gawlior, Madhya Pradesh and issue notices to the passport authority vide section 10(3)(e) and (h) of the Passport Act, 1967 to inform the issuing authority about issuance of the Non-Bailable Warrant against the accused.”

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