Delhi Court grants Ford India MD interim protection from arrest Ford India dealer had challenged dealership termination by the car marker and accused the company's managing director Anurag Mehrotra of cheating A Delhi court has granted interim protection from arrest to Ford India managing director Anurag Mehrotra in an alleged cheating case. The case was filed by the owner of...
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Delhi Court grants Ford India MD interim protection from arrest
Ford India dealer had challenged dealership termination by the car marker and accused the company's managing director Anurag Mehrotra of cheating
A Delhi court has granted interim protection from arrest to Ford India managing director Anurag Mehrotra in an alleged cheating case.
The case was filed by the owner of Libra Cars Pvt Ltd, a car dealership firm in Delhi, who alleged that the car manufacturer terminated its agreement and announced it "duplicitously".
Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani allowed Mehrotra's plea seeking anticipatory bail.
"Since the investigation in the present case is still pending, it is directed that in the event of arrest, applicant be released on interim bail for a period of 30 days on furnishing of bail bonds in a sum of Rs 5 lakh with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of IO/SHO…"
The complainant pointed out an agreement clause under which Ford India or its directors could not authorise any other service station/workshop within a 10-km radius of his showroom and alleged that he learnt about the existence of another service centre running within the approximate radius mentioned earlier when tried to find out reasons for decreased sales.
The complainant was stated to have reported the matter to the company but the latter sent notices relating to outstanding dues and later terminated the dealership with effect from 21 March 2019, causing wrongful loss of ₹35 crore.
"The applicant has been falsely implicated in the present case by complainant deceitfully and dishonestly alleging inter-alia the commission of the offences of criminal breach of trust and cheating by the applicant," it was submitted.
Mehrotra's counsel further submitted that the present FIR was registered on the direction of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on 4 November 2020 even though in response to the application under 156 (3) CrPC (seeking registration of the FIR), the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police had already filed a status report in which it was stated that no offence was made out.
"The allegations made in the FIR are civil in nature. Since the present complainant did not adhere to the terms and conditions of the agreement of dealership and also not clear their outstanding credit i.e., up to ₹4 crore approximately as clear from the letter dated 18.01.2019 wherein (it is) specifically mentioned about the misconduct or not following the condition of the agreement. Hence, the dealership of the complainant was terminated vide termination letter dated 05.03.2019," Mehrotra's Counsel submitted before the court.
Mehrotra's team of lawyers countered all allegations levelled against their client and submitted that the complainant had paid ₹65 lakh to Ford India even after termination of the agreement establishing the fact that the dealer owed money to the company leading to the termination of the dealership.
"Had there been any clause with regard to the payment of compensation of ₹35 crore in the alleged agreement dated 24.04.2018, the complainant would have never paid ₹65 lakh to the Ford Company post termination," it was argued.
The Court directed Mehrotra to join the investigation as and when required and not intimidate or influence the prosecution witnesses. He was also directed to provide his mobile number to the IO and not change it without bringing it to the IO's notice.
Additional Public Prosecutor Kiran Bala appeared for the State whereas advocates Vijay Kumar Aggarwal, Sarthak Sharma, Hardik Sharma and Barkha represented Mehrotra. Advocate Prashant Diwan represented the complainant – Libra Cars Pvt Ltd.