Gurgaon: Suspended IPS officer Dheeraj Sethia’s plea for anticipatory bail in a multi-crore theft case in which he has been named as an accused was rejected by a local court which, in its order, observed that Sethia needs to be interrogated to determine the extent of the police’s involvement.
Additional sessions judge Amit Sahrawat also questioned the role of then Gurgaon police commissioner KK Rao, observing that Sethia’s office — where he allegedly received a bribe from the accused — was in the same building as the police chief’s and asking how all this unfolded under his watch.
Sethia was DCP (south) with additional charge as DCP (crime) when the massive cash heist happened from two flats owned by the developer of a Sector 84 condominium on August 4 last year. Sethia was named as an accused on December 8 by the special task force (STF), which took over the probe from the police and added sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC to the FIR registered at Kherki Daula police station. Sethia was suspended on August 10.
In his order dated February 14, the judge observed that if Gurgaon police had proceeded with fairness, promptness and sufficient vigil at the right time, the vehicle used in the crime would have been lying in the concerned police station and all the accused would have been behind bars.
“Whether any share of the stolen money has also gone to other police officers either senior or junior of the petitioner (Sethia), that is also to be investigated,” the court said, adding, “The plight of the common man may not be even imagined if an IPS officer like the petitioner starts hushing up criminal cases by way of receiving gratification. The hopes of such a common man of getting justice had gone to the dust of unknown storms immediately the moment when the petitioner had received the bag of Rs 2.5 crore from the mastermind of a big burglary (sic).”
Elaborating on the rejection of the bail plea, which Sethia had filed on January 21, the court observed, “The extent of influence exercised by him (Sethia) over his subordinates to hush up the case may not be scaled unless the petitioner is interrogated.”
Bringing the former police commissioner under the scope of scrutiny as well, the order said, “Whether this whole illegal exercise had been done by the petitioner with the concurrence of the then commissioner of police, Gurgaon who was his immediate senior at Gurgaon or the other higher police authorities, the same may also not be ascertained unless the petitioner is questioned in custody.”
Judge Sahrawat also questioned the former police chief’s decision to hand additional charge of the crime branch to Sethia on August 18. “Whether the Commissioner of Police had passed that order 18.8.2021 in routine or purposely, the same is also yet to be investigated and that is possible only upon the interrogation of the petitioner (Sethia),” the court said.
“How it is possible, the gangsters and kingpins of burglary are visiting the office of DCP (crime), having bags of Rs 2.5 crore and the then commissioner of police, having an adjacent office, was unaware of that?” the court asked. It added, “If gangsters and the dacoits visit the office and residence of DCP with bags having Rs 2.5 crore to hush up the case, then the poor man of this country should certainly go to some deity to pray for his survival.”
Observing that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was necessary, the court said “this is not a simple case of cycle theft but a big multi-crore burglary” and it was clear that the complainant as well as the police had “initially tried to hush up the whole matter due to their ulterior motives”.
Sethia’s name came up in the disclosure statement of Dr Suchinder Kumar Nawal, one of the accused in the case in which 15 suspects have been arrested so far, including three doctors and the henchmen of gangster Vikas Langarpuria, who allegedly orchestrated the heist after one of the doctors learnt of the cash from a staffer at the developer’s office who wanted to tip off the income tax department in exchange for a cash reward. In the statement, Nawal claimed he had given cash in dollars and Indian rupees and gold to Sethia, which according to the STF, was worth Rs 2.5 crore. Nawal also claimed Sethia later kept a part of the cash and returned the rest.
Ajay Kumar Verma, the counsel for Sethia, said his client was innocent and was being falsely implicated in the case. Verma argued that the charges against Sethia were based on a disclosure statement by one of the accused and disclosure statements are not admissible in a court of law. Countering the argument, the judge said mobile phone locations of Nawal – at Sethia’s official residence and office – and recordings of conservation between him and Langarpuria corroborated the disclosure statement.
So far, nearly Rs 6 crore has been recovered from different suspects in the case. The STF is yet to file its charge sheet against all the accused.


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