The Bombay High Court has granted bail to Balasaheb Choudhary, who claims to be 93 years old and has been accused of cheating a man of Rs 22.5 lakh by posing as a lawyer.
The complainant, Rameshchandra Bafna, who himself is 73 years old, knew Chaudhary as someone who worked at the Income Tax Department.
Assuming that Chaudhary was an advocate, Bafna engaged him in a couple of cases and paid up to Rs 22.50 lakh.
A complaint was filed by Bafna against Chaudhary at Sarkarwada Police Station, Nashik. Chaudhary was booked for offences punishable under sections 199, 418, 419, 420, 406 & 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
Chaudhary, who is currently lodged in Nashik Central Prison, filed an application for bail which was heard by Justice Revati Mohite Dere.
Although, Chaudhary’s counsel HV Kode submitted that his client was 93 years old, APP Prashant Jadhav and Bafna opposed this and said Chaudhary was 10 years younger, i.e., 83 years.
Kode then submitted that his client had already deposited a sum of Rs 5 lakh with the HC registry and will submit another Rs 5 lakh within a week’s time.
Bafna, who is appearing in person, informed the court that the Bar Council of India had communicated that Chaudhary was not enrolled as an advocate and hence could not practice.
Upon perusal of all documents, Justice Dere observed:
“Without going into the merits of the case, only keeping in mind the ages of both, the Applicant and the Complainant and the undertaking given by the Applicant, trial of the Applicant is expedited and the Application is allowed.”
Chaudhary will now have to furnish Rs 50,000 as surety and Principal District Judge, Nashik, has been directed to assign the case to any court and ensure that the trial is expedited and case is decided within three months.
Bafna has been allowed to withdraw the sum of Rs 5 lakh deposited with HC registry.
Read the Order here.