Free Press Journal

‘No sympathy for White Collar crimes’, observes Bombay High Court


Mumbai High Court

The observation was made while rejecting bail plea of an accused who duped 300 investors.

Mumbai: Observing that ‘white collar’ crimes cannot be viewed with ‘sympathetic’ vision, the Bombay High Court rejected the bail plea of a woman who allegedly duped more than 3000 people.

The observation came from a single-judge bench presided over by Justice Sadhana Jadhav while hearing a bail plea of one Priyanka Patil.

According to the prosecution, Priyanka along with her husband Vinod Patil was running a firm (House of Investment) and invited investors promising them of ‘lucrative’ returns. It is the case of the prosecution that the couple had floated the scheme with an intention to cheat investors and make profits. The prosecution claims that the couple has swallowed at least Rs 30 crore from these investments.

The prosecutor told the court that an FIR was registered against the couple in August this year but none of the either approached any court seeking a pre-arrest bail. Moreover, Vinod had absconded even before the registration of the FIR and is still ‘untraceable’. The prosecutor also informed the court that Priyanka also ran a fitness centre and allegedly made an attempt to disappear all the evidence like the documents, equipments etc in her fitness centre.

On the other hand, the counsel representing Priyanka adamantly submitted that the Sessions court (which earlier rejected her bail) has done an error and that his client has very less role in the alleged offence.

After hearing all the submissions, Justice Jadhav said, “Upon perusal of papers of investigation it is clear that the act of the applicant (Priyanka) is clearly spelt out and that she is equally responsible for causing loss to the vulnerable public at large. The ‘interest of the community’ shall always outweigh the ‘right of personal liberty’ of the individual concerned. It is a matter of record that the offenders induced people to invest in the scheme floated by them by giving false promises. The couple have ‘amassed’ money and properties at the cost of hard earned money of the investors.”

While rejecting the bail plea, Justice Jadhav observed, “Economic  offence  is  a  ‘well  planned’  act  only  for  gaining  personal profits at the cost of the vulnerable factions of the society. ‘White collar’ crimes cannot be viewed with ‘permissive, lenient and sympathetic’ vision. Damage to a faction of society is damage to national economy too.”