Ex-HC judge pays Rs 2.5 cr to men claiming RSS ties to buy electoral bonds, gets duped

A former High Court judge was cheated of Rs 2.5 crore by two people claiming to be affiliated with the RSS, who claimed the money would be given to the ruling BJP in the form of electoral bonds. In return, he was assured of jobs for his unemployed grandchildren in the USA.
Ex-HC judge pays Rs 2.5 cr to men claiming RSS ties to buy electoral bonds, gets duped

A former High Court judge allegedly lost a huge amount of money after he paid two men who claimed to be with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for favours for his family. The retired judge, who has served as a judge in Andhra Pradesh High Court and another High Court, gave Rs 2.5 crore to two men thinking they were going to be used to purchase Electoral Bonds for the BJP. In return, the judge was promised that his grandchildren in US would be given jobs.

Speaking to TNM, the judge said he had given money to Anil and Sridhar (names changed), based in Hyderabad, in 2021. The judge alleged that he had been trying to retrieve the money for two years, but had hit a wall. One of the men, whom the judge has filed a police complaint against, has links with the World Hindu Congress. 

Electoral Bonds are interest-free bearer bonds that can be purchased from the State Bank of India by citizens or corporate entities for any value and given to registered political parties anonymously. After the Supreme Court put a halt to the Electoral Bonds scheme in a recent judgement, the former judge who had been unable to get the bonds from them, approached the police with a complaint of cheating. 

According to the judge, one of the two men he complained against, Anil, was known to his son-in-law. They claimed to be ‘important leaders’ in the RSS and told him they would purchase electoral bonds with the money and in exchange they would secure jobs for his two grandchildren who had completed their postgraduate studies in the US. 

The then 72-year-old judge withdrew money from his wife and his accounts in 2021 and gave the cash to the two people. “Everything is white,” he said referring to the cash used in the current transaction. Since then, the retired judge tried to get the bonds as well as ensure the two men delivered on their promises but to no avail.

In his complaint to the Film Nagar police station, he said, “Believing his words, my daughters, my wife sent a total sum of Rs 2.5 crore to the bank from time to time in the year 2021 which can be seen from the messages sent on WhatsApp. The common grievance of my family including me is that in spite of collecting huge amounts, no bonds have been issued in spite of my requests, nor any favour was done either to me or my grandchildren in the US…This is a clear violation of the recent judgement of the Supreme Court deprecating the collection of amounts by way of electoral bonds. In the present case despite my insistence for issuing me bonds no such thing had happened. The said collection of amounts for about Rs 2.5 crore, without issuing any bonds indicates that the said amounts were misappropriated for their self."

Speaking to TNM, he said, “Despite asking several times over the last two years, they did not issue the bonds. They kept saying they would get jobs for my grandchildren but that didn’t happen. This is my main grievance,” lamented the former judge.

“I don’t think the BJP will do such things (scam). Individually, these two men used the RSS’ name, posed as important individuals and duped me, saying that the bonds are meant for the BJP,” the former judge said, adding that he did not belong to any political party and did this solely with his grandchildren in mind. “I am 74 years old. What could I want for myself?” he asked. He added that his intention was to make their parents happy by securing them jobs.

He also invoked the recent Supreme Court judgment on February 15, 2024, which struck down the electoral bonds scheme and said, “Despite my insistence that bonds are issued to me, no such thing happened and collecting bonds without issuing them to me amounts to criminal breach of trust, criminal misappropriation, cheating etc.” He said he would withdraw the case if they “settled the matter.”

TNM also spoke to Anil, who denied all allegations. “The complaint is false. I am a small man. I have no connections with RSS or BJP. I never took any money,” he said. He however did not deny that he knew the former judge. “I knew the judge like ‘everyone knows everyone’,” he added.

However, according to Anil’s LinkedIn profile, he is a coordinator for the World Hindu Congress and part of the World Hindu Economic Forum, an organisation that works closely with the RSS.

The Film Nagar police registered a case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (acts of cheating) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and took up the investigation. 

The former judge said getting duped was his mistake. “What I have learnt is that deceiving people is their prerogative, getting deceived is my fault,” he said. 

Update: After this story was published, the judge has given a letter to the police station stating that he is withdrawing his complaint. He has requested the police to take the required steps to close the complaint.

 (The name of the retired judge has been withheld on his request.) 

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