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Delhi HC asks police to file reply in connection with petition seeking transfer of case from EOW to CBI

Delhi HC asks police to file reply in connection with petition seeking transfer of case from EOW to CBI

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New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Police to file a reply on the petition seeking transfer of the case from EOW to CBI, alleging that the investigations have been compromised in collusion with the accused and Italian lawyer Stefano Bagianti, and the matter requires international investigation spanning several countries such as Switzerland, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, China.
Justice Yogesh Khanna listed the matter for further hearing on July 21.
The standing counsel for the state assured the court that he would instruct his prosecutor appearing on behalf of the state before Magistrate, to inform the petitioner herein about hearing of closure proceedings. The standing counsel also sought two weeks time to file a response to the petition.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the complainant CDPI, which is the subsidiary of Actial, a leading Italian pharmaceutical company through the Chairman of Kochhar and Company law firm Rohit Kochhar and senior partner Krishna Vijay Singh.
In its plea, CDPI urged the court to examine the case record and set aside the biased investigation conducted and report prepared by the investigating officer in collusion with the accused.
The CDPI also sought to direct CBI to register an FIR under the provisions of Section 217, 218, 219 and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 against Stefano Bagianti, accused Claudio De Simone and accused Kanwaldeep Singh Chadha for conspiring with each other to enable Stefano Bagianti to gain unlawful access to the entire case file during the investigations and illegally influencing such investigations.
The complainant counsel argued that the Italian lawyer Stefano Bagianti in connivance with the EOW officers was unlawfully indulged and allowed to examine the entire case file maintained by the investigating agency on July 25, 2019. This was done in the presence of four officers of the EOW involved in the investigation in various capacities, including the Investigating Officer.
According to petition, as a result of the illegal nexus, although three
years have elapsed since the filing of the Complaint, nothing has been done to summon, investigate or interrogate accused Claudio De Simone (a foreign national) to ascertain the misuse of forged documents outside India, the bank accounts outside India including in Switzerland, Italy and other countries where accused Claudio De Simone and his companies had parked the proceeds of crime.
The petition submits that the shocking facts came to light when the accused Professor Claudio De Simone, a Swiss national filed a letter dated March 10, 2020, written by his lawyer Stefano Bagianti in money laundering proceedings against De Simone in a court in Switzerland, to contend that the EOW would be filing a closure report in the FIR registered against him in India.
The letter filed by Stefano Bagianti further discloses that he flew to India to examine the case file of the EOW between July 24-26, 2019, and was allowed to inspect the file in a meeting convened especially for this purpose by the EOW officers.
The letter further contends that EOW officials had assured the Italian lawyer during the said meeting on July 25, 2020, i.e. almost a year ago, that a closure report would be filed in the FIR. To add insult to injury, in his letter filed before the Swiss courts, the Italian lawyer boasts of the effectiveness of his travel to India between July 24-26, 2019, and assures the accused De Simone that the IO, over a call on September 9, 2019, told him that the matter should be considered settled.
The complainant CDPI has annexed news reports with the petition to highlight that the same Italian lawyer Stefano Bagianti has highly disparaging credentials and criminal antecedents. He was convicted of bribing police officials in Italy in the year 2011 and faced imprisonment of 1 year and 4 months.
Kochhar and Co. argued before the High Court that Section 172(3) of the CrPC categorically bars access of case diaries and files by the accused or his lawyer.
According to the petition, such conduct is not only illegal, but also unheard of, and has compromised the entire investigation, including the safety and security of witnesses. The mischief perpetrated has provided an opportunity to the accused to understand the mind of the investigating officer, the strategy for gathering evidence and the line of questioning the accused persons.
The petition asserts that the two accused persons De Simone and Kanwaldeep Chadha, while being directors of the petitioner company, had systematically siphoned of substantial sums of money from the petitioner company from 2009 to 2014 using their own companies in India, Italy and Switzerland, created forged agreements in May 2014, which were backdated to the years 2010 and 2011, and transferred the trademarks, drug import license and the entire business of the petitioner company in July 2014 to an Indian company called NextGen, which the accused had established in India as a clone of the petitioner.
The aforesaid fraud was suppressed with meticulous planning from the shareholders until May 30, 2016, by concealing the balance sheet of the petitioner company and not holding the AGM, besides refusing to allow access to the four new directors appointed by the shareholders on December 1, 2015.
Access was finally granted and the fraud was discovered after the Delhi High Court, in a civil suit before it, passed directions against the accused vide order dated May 30, 2016, to permit the new directors to access the office and records of the petitioner company. (ANI)

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