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Bitcoin scam: Supreme Court transfers FIRs to CBI, trial to be held in Delhi

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      14 December, 2023 11:28 AM      0 Comments
Bitcoin scam Supreme Court transfers FIRs to CBI trial to be held in Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued orders for transferring all FIRs lodged in connection with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency scam to the CBI for further investigation and filing of chargesheets.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra also directed the CBI special court at Rouse Avenue Courts in Delhi would take up all the cases.

We are of the view that all FIRs in question should be consolidated and transferred for further investigation to CBI," the bench said, after hearing Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati and others.

The bench said that the amount deposited before this court pursuant to the interim order shall stand transferred to CBI court, Rouse Avenue, New Delhi.

The apex court modified its earlier order of August 30, 2019 granting anticipatory bail to the accused in over 45 FIRs and said it was no longer in force.

During the hearing, a counsel said this client had sought to consolidate all these cases, however the magistrates would want to see the Bitcoin and they don't realise it is virtual.

The counsel contended that no agency outside of Delhi has the expertise to investigate and asked the court to have an expert body like CBI investigate it.

A counsel contended that legality of Bitcoin was not known at that time and some people were keen to make profits. He added that hundreds of cases were filed and people had to travel from one place to another, and if they miss a date, they are put in jail.

The apex court asked the counsel, representing various parties, should the court consolidate all these FIRs in one place.

The counsel agreed with the courts suggestions.

The apex court said the accused, if not granted regular bail by another court, will have to seek it from the Delhi High Court.

The bench said the petitioner had deposited an amount of Rs one crore in the registry of this court and this amount should be transferred to the trial court.

The apex court passed the order while dealing with cases related to the quashing of multiple FIRs registered against Amit Bhardwaj and others for allegedly cheating investors across India by inducing them to trade in Bitcoin after promising them high returns. Amit Bhardwaj, his two brothers and their father were the accused in the case.

The Enforcement Directorate had said around 47 FIRs were registered against the accused for allegedly duping people across the country.

The cases involved alleged trading of 87,000 Bitcoin worth Rs 20,000 crore.



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