The Gujarat High Court on Thursday denied bail to Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale on charges of alleged misuse of money he had collected through crowdfunding in an order passed January 23, reported Live Law.
On December 29, Gokhale was arrested in Delhi by the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Branch. The police have alleged that Gokhale collected over Rs 72 lakh from more than 1,700 persons through a crowdfunding platform called “Our Democracy” and used the money for personal use.
At Thursday’s hearing, a bench of Justice Samir J Dave observed that prima facie it appears that some transactions done using money collected through crowdfunding were for personal reasons of the Trinamool Congress leader, reported Live Law.
“There are many transactions, which appear to have been done on prima-facie going through the bank account statement, so it cannot be denied that some transactions might be done for his personal usage or not, which is a question of fact and can only be decided by evidence at the time of trial and not at the stage of investigation when the charge sheet is yet to be filed,” the court said, reported Bar and Bench.
The amount was collected using social media and most transactions were online, the court said.
Gokhale was arrested after a complaint was filed by a woman who claimed to have donated Rs 500 to the politician through online application Razorpay. Gokhale was booked under sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), and 467 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code.
On January 25, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Gokhale under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in Ahmedabad and sent to custody till January 31 by a city court.