Delhi Court grants bail to woman lodged in jail for over 8 yrs

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By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha

New Delhi [India], June 18 (ANI): A Delhi court has granted bail to a woman Raksha J. Urs alias Priyanka Sarashwat Dev, who was in custody for the last eight years six months in connection with a defrauding 2,000 people, observing that there is a delay in commencement of the trial.

Raksha J. Urs was arrested in the case with her husband Ulahas Prabhakar, by the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of Delhi Police on November 10, 2012, from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. Both were directors of the company Stockguru. India, which was started in 2009.

However, Raksha has to remain in jail as she did not get bail in three other cases pending against her. Among three cases, two are pending in Delhi courts while one in Uttar Pradesh Court.

Rouse Avenue Court's Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj granted bail to Raksha asking her to furnish a personal bond in the sum of Rs 5 lakhs with one surety of the same amount.

"In view of the facts mentioned hereinabove, the delay in initiation of trial; the charge having not been framed despite the passage of 8 and a half years; the prosecutor and investigating agency have a dispute regarding the order of this court; the accused having been acquitted in 17 cases already and more than anything the accused of being a lady and entitled for benefit of proviso to section 437 Cr. PC, the bail application of Raksha J. Urse, " the Court said.

The Court also imposed various conditions upon her including not to leave Delhi without permission of the Court, not to try to influence any of the witnesses or tamper with the evidence in any manner and appear before the court regularly.

The Court said that a bare reading of proceedings indicates that the delay at least since October 2016 is not on the part of the accused.

"The applicant (Raksha) in this case is in custody without trial and her rights under Article 21 of Constitution of India are being infringed," the court observed. (ANI)

Raksha's counsel Advocates Archit Kaushik, Shashank Shekhar Jha and Pankhuri Jaiswal told the court that their client is in custody for 8 years and about 6 months without any trial and the trial has not commenced and it is no fault of Raksha.

The defence counsel also argued that the accused is a woman and as such, she is entitled to the benefit of section 437 Cr. PC which makes special consideration for women and she has also minor daughters who have been deprived of their mother's affection for more than 8 years.

According to the prosecution, accused Raksha was an active partner in the alleged crime and had an active role in the transactions whereby more than 2000 victims were allegedly defrauded of their hard-earned money.

She alleged conspired with accused Ulhas Prabhakar and induced the investors to invest their money in M/S Stock Guru on the basis of false assurances.

She along with accused Lokeshwar Prasad was actively holding seminars to induce people to invest their money in the projects, the prosecution alleged adding they allegedly acquired fake identities to escape criminal cases.

The prosecution also alleged that the accused had used documents of other

persons fraudulently and they purchased as many as 13 properties in their name and in the name of their companies with the money of the investors.

The prosecution said that the accused is also facing a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and given a list to court about 35 cases where Raksha was involved.

Accused Raksha counsel told the Court that she had been acquitted in 17 cases out of these 35 cases.

Delhi Police has accused them of duping several investors across seven states of nearly Rs 500 crore by promising high returns through their firm Stock Guru India, dealing in stocks.

The duo had posed as doctors, investors, and businessmen and ran several fraudulent firms to dupe people, police said. (ANI)