New Delhi [India], January 18 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has granted bail to two directors, allegedly involved in the 'Hello Taxi' case, a multi-victim ponzi scheme that duped hundreds of innocent people who invested money in the firm.
Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad in an order passed on January 17, while granting bail to them said, both the petitioners have been in custody for over a year now. Chargesheet as well as supplementary chargesheet have been filed and all the evidence available is documentary in nature and in custody of the investigating agency. Whether or not the cheated money was entrusted to the Petitioners is a matter of trial and cannot be taken into consideration at this juncture.
This Court is, therefore, of the opinion that continued custody of the Petitioners is no longer required and that both the Petitioners should be enlarged on bail. Each petitioner shall furnish a personal bond in the sum of Rs.1,50,000/- with two sureties of the like amount, one of them should be a relative of the petitioner, court said in order.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police had earlier had arrested Sunder Singh Bhati and Rajesh Mahto, directors of said company arrested for their alleged involvement in the 'Hello Taxi' case, a multi-victim ponzi scheme that duped hundreds of innocent people.
Advocate Kumar Piyush Pushkar, appearing for Rajesh Mahto, submitted that there is no evidence to indicate that the Petitioner had induced the investors and concocted lies about RBI authorization. He submitted that the accused Company was incorporated in 2015 and was named Ayurvedic India, and that the Petitioner only joined the accused Company on 26.06.2018 after the ownership and name was changed and handed over to the promoters of SMP Impex Pvt. Ltd. (Hello Taxi). He submits that the Petitioner was merely a non-executive director and that he only received Rs. 11 lakhs, which was his remuneration, out of the alleged cheated amount of Rs. 250 crores.
Advocate Pradeep Singh Rana, appeared for Sundar Singh Bhati submits that the Petitioner has been languishing in jail since 09.12.2020. He submits that no recovery has been made from the Petitioner or at the instance of the Petitioner, and that, therefore, there is no link tying the Petitioner to the alleged scam. Advocate Rana also submitted that the Trial Court erred in observing that the only investors who had gained from the scheme were relatives of the Petitioner. He states that several of the alleged victims received up to 40-50 per cent of their invested amount within a month which buttressed the fact that early investors had received significant returns from the accused Company.
EOW of Delhi Police had registered an FIR on the basis of a complaint filed by ex-serviceman Dharmender Singh, stating that SMP IMPEX Pvt. Ltd. (Hello Taxi) and its Directors/Officials, Saroj Mahapatra, Rajesh Mahto, Daisy Vijay Menon, Sunder Singh Bhati and other unknown persons had committed cheating and fraud. It was stated that the complainant had received a message and an email from the Company stating that if he invested his money, they would give him a 200% return within 1 year. The Directors, Saroj Mahapatra and Rajesh Mahto called the Complainant and invited him to Netaji Subhash Place where they told him about the Company and explained their plans to expand it on the lines of Uber/Ola.
Hello Taxi operates a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme in the country and offers high returns to the investors. The company owes a huge amount of money to both big and small investors. (ANI)