Fake magistrate held for duping shopkeepers

A 65-year-old man, who was posing as a magistrate and cheating shopkeepers by issuing false threats of cancelling their licence, was arrested from central Delhi’s Nabi Karim on Sunday.

His chauffeur too has been held for helping him by approaching distraught shopkeepers and saying that the can retain their shops in lieu of money.

The fake judge has been identified as Kishan Lal Gupta, a resident of north Delhi’s Kamla Market. He claimed to have been a wholesale dealer of an ayurvedic beverage in the past and owned property worth crores of rupees.

“He adopted this modus operandi to dupe shopkeepers after he suffered serious setback in his business,” a senior police officer said.

The officer said Gupta would target people owning shops in big markets. He would travel in a chauffeur-driven Innova car. The chauffeur turned out to be a man in his early thirties, identified as Rajiv, who would trap victims for Gupta and allegedly take commission for his work.

Gupta would allegedly arrive clad in a suit by a car which had a government sticker pasted on it. He held a fake identity card of a honorary magistrate.

“While Gupta would wait in the car, his chauffeur would approach shopkeepers and tell them that their magistrate has arrived to check their shops and had the power to issue challans and cancel the shop’s licence. Rajiv would then offer to save their shop if they agreed to cough up money to him,” the officer said.

While many shopkeepers are believed to have paid up, one person at Kamla Market on Sunday grew suspicious and informed police. A team arrived at the spot and checked Gupta’s identity card, which turned out to be fake.

He and his chauffeur were immediately arrested and charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Police are trying to ascertain the number of shopkeepers who have fallen in his trap till now. 

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