SC pulls up key accused for non-compliance with order in GainBitcoin scam case

The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up GainBitcoin scam accused Ajay Bharadwaj for not sharing the user name and password of his crypto wallet with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the case, despite its earlier direction.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant warned that it would dismiss his petition to quash the case against him for not complying with its March 28 order.

“You must share the details or we should dismiss it for non-compliance… You make a statement here and then no compliance… The dignity of SC has to be maintained. We are not some Tis Hazari court…,” Justice Chandrachud told senior advocate Siddharth Dave, who appeared for Bharadwaj.

Hearing his plea seeking quashing of charges, the SC had in August 2019 given him anticipatory bail and protected him from coercive action and asked him to deposit Rs 1 crore as security.

On March 28, the court had ruled that the interim order protecting him from arrest would continue “conditional on the petitioner cooperating fully in the investigation”.

On Monday, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the ED, told the court that Bharadwaj was not sharing the details sought.

She said the wallets were with the Pune police, who had communicated that the accused had not appeared before it or shared the information.

Dave said his client was willing to share the details in the presence of his lawyer. But the bench did not agree and said, “What is this that he wants the lawyer for giving the password? First comply with the order… Sit with them tomorrow, tell them everything,” the bench said, asking the ED to prepare a questionnaire of the details it wanted and share it with the court too.

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