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Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail To Immigration Agent On Condition To Bring Back Youths Arrested By Bahamas Police

Mehal Jain
24 Nov 2020 6:06 AM GMT
Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail To Immigration Agent On Condition To Bring Back Youths Arrested By Bahamas Police
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The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim bail to a Punjab-based immigration agent, accused of cheating the complainant by inducing him to part with Rs. 40 lakhs on the promise of sending his children to the USA, who were sent somewhere else altogether, their whereabouts being unknown.Hearing the SLP against the November, 2019 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court denying regular bail,...

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The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim bail to a Punjab-based immigration agent, accused of cheating the complainant by inducing him to part with Rs. 40 lakhs on the promise of sending his children to the USA, who were sent somewhere else altogether, their whereabouts being unknown.

Hearing the SLP against the November, 2019 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court denying regular bail, the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was of the view that the petitioner is entitled to be released on interim bail subject to such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Trial Court, which may also include the condition that the petitioner shall make an effort to locate and bring back the children of the informant and he shall render all necessary assistance to the State as well as to the Union of India.

The bench, also comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shah, impleaded the Union of India through the Ministry of External Affairs as a respondent party. The bench ordered a copy of the petition to be served on the office of the Solicitor General, requiring him to take instructions in this behalf.

Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave, for the petitioner, submitted that in pursuance of the earlier order of this Court dated 07.07.2020, the petitioner has already deposited Rs.40 lacs and has also made efforts to locate and bring back the children of the informant. He further submits that as per the information received, certain persons were arrested by Royal Bahamas Police in August, 2017 and the petitioner apprehends that the children may be in custody of Royal Bahamas Police Force.

It was advanced that the petitioner could not travel to Bahamas to find out the details of the children as air travel was not permitted.

"In view of above submissions, we are of the view that the petitioner is entitled to be released on interim bail subject to such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Trial Court. We order accordingly. The conditions may also include the condition that the petitioner shall make an effort to locate and bring back the children of the informant and he shall render all necessary assistance to the State as well as to the Union of India", directed the bench.

A FIR dated 10.11.2017 under Sections 420 & 406 IPC, Section 24 of Immigration Act, Section 4 of Human Trafficking Act and Section 13 of Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012, stands registered against the petitioner in Kapurthala, Punjab.
As per the FIR, it is alleged that the informant's son and nephew, aged about 19 and 25 years who wanted to go to the USA. The present petitioner induced the complainant that he will manage to send the children abroad, as he had already sent many persons to America and demanded a sum of Rs.32,50,000/-. Thereafter, a sum of Rs.5.00 lacs was given to the travel agent. After 2-3 days, the petitioner took the passport and other documents along with Rs.5.00 lacs and signatures of the children on blank stamp papers for the purpose of procuring the visa. Later on, the petitioner informed that visa is granted for both children and he again demanded Rs.5.00 lacs, which were also given in the month of February, 2017. On 04.02.2017, the petitioner took the children, stating that flight is booked and they were sent on 19.02.2017. After two days, the complainant received a call from his son that the agent has cheated them, as instead of sending them to USA, he had sent to Surinam in South America.

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