Charges framed against six for cheating of over Rs 100 cr

The framing of charges paves the way for the start of trial against the accused. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R K Tripathi found directors Chetan Mallik and Rajesh Mallik and four promoters Shadab Ansari, Sajid Jabbar, Anand Shankar prima facie guilty and charged them with the offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.

All the six accused, who are in judicial custody, pleaded not guilty to the charges and expressed their willingness to contest them during the trial.The court also charged the accused with various provisions of the Prize Chit Fund and Money Circulation Scheme Act.

Additional Public Prosecutor Naveen Kumar sought trial of the six accused under the IPC and the Prize Chit Fund and Money Circulation Scheme Act for allegedly cheating 70,890 people for over Rs 100 crore. He said the accused, being directors and promoters of B K Jewellery and Marketing Private Ltd, induced people to deposit Rs 13,444 for one year and get Rs one lakh.

Kumar claimed 516 people had lodged their complaints with the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police since 2009 as they failed to pay them back despite their promise. "The accused indulged in cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust by causing losses to the exchequer to the tune of Rs one crore by not depositing value-added tax (VAT) and Rs 10 crore as TDS," he submitted.

The counsel for the accused, on the other hand, claimed the money from general public was invited purely as contract between them and the victims.
It was not a money circulation scheme but a multi-level marketing scheme, they claimed, adding the Indian Penal Code is not attracted against the accused if they were to be charged under the special Act of the Prize Chit Fund and Money Circulation Scheme Act.

The court, however, did not find sufficient evidence to frame charges against the accused for the offences of forgery and using fake documents as genuine.

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