21 Nov 2023 6:44 AM GMT
In a recent ruling, the Gujarat High Court denied bail to an accused individual facing charges related to the creation of forged passports and fraudulent visa stickers for various foreign countries, emphasizing the possibility that if released on bail, the accused might leverage these connections to evade legal consequencesJustice Nirzar S Desai observed, “Considering the fact that...
In a recent ruling, the Gujarat High Court denied bail to an accused individual facing charges related to the creation of forged passports and fraudulent visa stickers for various foreign countries, emphasizing the possibility that if released on bail, the accused might leverage these connections to evade legal consequences
Justice Nirzar S Desai observed, “Considering the fact that the allegations against the present applicant are about creating forged passports and fabricated forged visa stickers of various foreign countries as well as it is coming out from the statement of various witnesses, prima facie, it seems that the present applicant is having contacts all over the world and therefore, looking to the nature of the allegations leveled against him about illegally sending the people to foreign countries and successfully allowing them to cross the border, there are all the chances that if the present applicant is enlarged on bail, he may utilize his international contacts all over the world for himself and may fly away.”
The above ruling came in an application filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, whereby the applicant sought release on regular bail in connection with the FIR registered for the offences punishable under Section 12 of the Passport Act, 1967 along with Sections 419, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120(b) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the FIR filed by Mr. Simpi, a D.C.B. Police Inspector, it was alleged that the applicant had been involved in a criminal conspiracy to illegally send people to the U.S. by creating fake passports and fraudulent documents. The accused, along with other co-conspirators, was accused of using these forged documents as genuine ones, thereby deceiving the Government of India and other countries. The applicant was purportedly charging a substantial amount for these illegal activities.
In the FIR, it was stated that 79 fake Indian passports were discovered at the instance of the applicant, leading to the registration of the FIR.
The court took into account a substantial amount of evidence implicating the current applicant, including statements from various victims and witnesses. This evidence strongly suggested that the applicant was extensively involved in orchestrating the illegal migration of individuals to foreign countries. The methods employed included the creation of counterfeit passport and visa stickers, along with other falsified documents and travel histories.
Furthermore, the court observed that the records indicated the applicant had an extensive network of contacts worldwide, and utilizing various routes, the applicant was found to be orchestrating the illegal transportation of individuals to foreign countries.
Additionally, the court considered the applicant's prior history, noting that he had been deported in 2002, and before his deportation, the applicant had already been convicted in as many as seven offenses in the U.S.
It was also highlighted that, despite being deported and returned to India, the applicant continued to engage in criminal activities, and regularly, criminal offenses were registered against the applicant, indicating a persistent involvement in unlawful activities even after his deportation.
The Court observed, “The affidavit filed by the Investigating Officer supported with the statement of Aangadiya Pedhi indicates that as many as Rs.1.5 crores are transferred at various point of time by way of 75 different transactions in the name of present applicant which would show that magnitude of scale of the present applicant of sending people to foreign countries.”
“On perusal of the statement of witnesses, prima facie, it seems that there are direct evidence against the present applicant as the statement gives an idea that the present applicant was directly dealing with the victims/ persons desirous to go to foreign countries illegally,” the Court added.
Considering the fact that there were eight antecedents reported against the present applicant in India, 7 convictions against the present applicant in the U.S., prior to being deported in the year 2002, the Court said that it would show that the present applicant consistently and constantly indulged into criminal activities.
Further the Court said that the offences registered against the present applicant at various police station in India also were registered under similar sections which indicated that the present applicant had committed similar kind of offences even at various cities in India.
“Therefore, considering the totality of facts and circumstances and material on record, I do not deem it appropriate to exercise the powers under section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code in favour of the present applicant,” the Court concluded while dismissing the present application.
Appearance: Mr. N. D. Nanavaty, Senior Advocate With Mr Mukesh Kumar Sudarshan(10268) For The Applicant(S) No. 1 Ms Hetu M Sudarshan(10051) For The Applicant(S) No. 1 Mr. Manan Mehta, App For The Respondent(S) No. 1
LL Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Guj) 185
Case Title: Bharatkumar Ramabhai Patel Versus State Of Gujarat
Case No.: R/Criminal Misc.Application (For Successive Regular Bail - After Chargesheet) No. 9824 Of 2023
Click Here To Read The Order / Judgement