Sunday, April 8, 2012

Did City Limo boss con Bangalore jail staff?

Did City Limo boss con Bangalore jail staff?

Documents obtained under RTI show that Sayed Masood used an ‘NOC’ purportedly written by a Delhi court to secure bail; a week later, the same court asked prison staff to produce him before it

Mumbai-based Sayed Masood, who is accused of duping thousands of investors in the city through his company City Limouzines, have managed to walk free out of Bangalore's Parappana Agrahara jail using an NOC purportedly written by a Delhi magistrate.

Last June, Mumbai police allowed Masood to be transferred to Bangalore to face trial in two cases with clear written instructions that he should not be released directly on bail.

RTI activist R Ashok Kumar Adiga found that though Masood was released on December 27, 2011, jail officials received a body warrant from the same Delhi court asking them produce the man before it on March 1.

Adiga brought the suspicious release of Masood to the notice of Karnataka ADGP (prisons) Gagandeep KV on April 4, who has ordered a probe into the incident.

The information provided to Adiga under RTI shows that Masood obtained bail in every single case registered against him across the country. He said the prisons department did not provide him details of the body warrant from the Delhi court. However, he obtained the information directly from the court using the RTI.

"The documents given by jail authorities differ from the ones obtained from the Delhi court. I have submitted all documents to the ADGP (prisons). Action should be taken against the erring officials," Adiga told Mirror.

The departmental probe will look into aspects like the authenticity of the letter from the Delhi magistrate, whether an undertrial transferred from Maharashtra can be released in Bangalore, and whether the Bangalore prison officials received bail orders in all cases pertaining to Masood.

Speaking to Mirror, Gagandeep said he was surprised at the circumstances surrounding Masood's release, and added that the Parappana Agrahara jail authorities have sought a week's time to furnish the relevant documents to the official conducting the inquiry.

Jail chief superintendent T H Lakshminarayana denied any wrongdoing on the part of his staff. "I am confident they worked within the legal framework for his release. This seems to be an attempt to tarnish our image," he said.

Advocate F Arif Nawaz confirmed that he had given the letter purportedly written by the Patiala House judge to the city central jail officials. "Questions about its contents should be addressed to the judge," he told this paper.

Masood came up with irresistible schemes

Sayed Masood is alleged to have duped thousands of investors in Mumbai and cities like  Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore to the tune of hundreds of  crores of rupees through his companies City Limouzines and City Realcom.

The companies ran schemes that offered returns as high as 48 per cent. The company had promised a Rs 4,000 return every month (for five years) on an investment of Rs 95,000. The company said the money would be invested in buying cars, which were to be registered in the name of investors and transferred to them at the end of this period.

However, in 2007, when some investors did not get their money, they complained to the EOW.

After playing hide and seek with investigating agencies and a series of unsuccessful attempts to seek court relief, Masood and his wife, Seema, who were on the run for many months, were picked up by police from Alwar district in Rajasthan in February 2010.

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