Delhi HC refuses to stay lookout circular issued against Ashneer Grover, wife Madhuri | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC refuses to stay lookout circular issued against Ashneer Grover, wife Madhuri

Feb 01, 2024 04:35 PM IST

The court observed that it would be incorrect to say the lookout circular was unjustified when the investigation was at a nascent stage

The Delhi high court on Thursday refused to stay the lookout circular (LOC) issued against former BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain in connection with the ongoing probe by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police into the alleged fintech fraud of 81 crore.

Former BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover. (File Photo)
Former BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover. (File Photo)

The court observed that it would be incorrect to say the LOC was unjustified when the investigation was at a nascent stage.

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Taking note of the pendency of the couple’s plea seeking quashing of the FIR for alleged misappropriation of funds and causing losses to Resilient Innovations Private Limited (BharatPe), the court adjourned the matter to May 8.

“It’s too hot in the day for this court to intervene. Investigation (in the FIR filed by EOW) is at a nascent stage. I’m simply adjourning this. Come on May 8. At this juncture to say that the LOC is completely unjustified is not correct,” a single-judge bench of justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The couple in the plea claimed that the LOC issued against them in November last year was unwarranted as they were regularly appearing before the investigating officer and cooperating with the probe. The petition filed by advocate Akhilesh Talluri stated that the LOC was issued in contravention of the office memorandum governing the issuance of circular.

The duo in their plea also sought to direct the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and EOW to call the records relating to issuance of LOC against them, contending that the same appeared to have been issued in suspicious circumstances, presumably to harass and cause them inconvenience.

Grover and Jain, in lieu of the LOC, were stopped by the EOW at Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport when they were traveling to New York as a consequence of the FIR registered against them and their family members Deepak Gupta, Suresh Jain, and Shwetank Jain under eight sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), and 120B (criminal conspiracy). The FIR had arisen pursuant to BharatPe lodging a complaint against the couple in December 2022.

“Moreover, the petitioner has also travelled abroad on 8 occasions since the complaint was lodged, and 4 occasions since the FIR was registered. The petitioner has cooperated with the investigation even while traveling abroad and there is nothing to suggest that there was any change in circumstances at the time that the LOC was requested to be issued,” their plea read.

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