HC stays proceedings against Hero MotoCorp, Chairman in forgery case

The Delhi High Court Thursday stayed the criminal proceedings against automobile giant Hero MotoCorp, its chairman Pawan Munjal and officials in a case of alleged forgery.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said the stay on the operation of the FIR as well as the trial court order will remain in force till December 6, the next date of hearing.

The trial court had directed registration of an FIR against them on a complaint alleging that Hero MotoCorp manufactured fake bills worth Rs 5.9 crore and obtained tax credit of over Rs 55 lakh.

The company, its chairman and officials approached the high court challenging the trial court’s order.

The high court, in the meantime, asked the parties to explore the possibility of a settlement.

“The operation of the (trial court) order and the proceedings in the FIR shall remain stayed. Parties to explore possibilities of a compromise. The counsel shall take instructions regarding compromise,” the high court said.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Maninder Singh, representing Hero MotoCorp, sought quashing of the FIR and the trial court’s September 20 order.

The counsel argued that the company and the complainant were engaged in a civil battle and no criminality was involved.

The plea said the criminal proceedings initiated in the case were “wholly malafide and illegal and the company and its officials named in the FIR are getting harassed and facing threats of coercive actions besides being subjected to humiliation in front of various governmental and non-governmental agencies”.

The criminal case was registered on October 5, 2023 on a complaint by Roop Darshan Pandey, the promoter of Brains Logistics Pvt Ltd following the trial court’s order. The complainant named MotoCorp Limited along with its three functionaries — principal employer Pawan Munjal, officials Vikram Sitaram Kasbekar and Hari Prakash Gupta — and an auditor.

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Hero MotoCorp had earlier issued a statement saying it was an old matter and no official has been named in the FIR. It said the complainant was a disgruntled service provider promoted by Pandey.

The complainant has alleged that Hero Motocorp, in collusion with Munjal and Kasbekar, manufactured fake month-wise bills totalling Rs 5,94,52,525 for 2009 and 2010 and created false debit balance in its books of accounts against Brains Logistics.

The case was registered on October 5 at Vasant Kunj North police station under sections 463 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 34 (common intention), 477A (falsification of accounts), 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of the IPC.

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