MUMBAI: In fresh trouble for four-time world billiards champion Michael Ferreira (77), a sessions court on Friday rejected his anticipatory bail plea in a cheating case filed against him by the Kerala police. In March this year, the Supreme Court had granted bail to Ferreira, a Padma Bhushan awardee, who was in jail for about six months in the mutli-crore Q Net scam.
The Ernakulam Town police station, Kochi, booked Ferreira on Indian Penal Code charges for committing criminal breach of trust, cheating and under the provisions of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes Act. Last year, Ferreira surrendered and was arrested by the Thane economic offences wing after the SC first rejected his anticipatory bail plea. His arrest was in a case registered under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act on a complaint filed by Gurpreet Anand, who alleged that Vihaan was illegally running a Ponzi scheme.
In the anticipatory bail plea on Friday, the additional sessions judge held that it will not be just and proper to grant him and co-accused Malcom Desai for the transit period. “The grounds made out by the applicants that they are old aged and they have no criminal antecedents is not found to be just and proper,” the court held.
The court further stated that the FIR and the order of the Supreme Court clearly showed that 20 similar offences were registered against the accused. “It transpires from the record that there are various cases pending against the applicants/accused. They are covered under the Economic Offence. Considering the gravity of the offence, I found that it will not be just and proper to grant anticipatory bail for transit period,” the court said.
Ferreira owns 80% shares and Desai the remaining 20% in Vihaan Direct Selling (India), a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based direct selling company QNet. They have been chargesheeted for running a Ponzi scheme, duping thousands of buyers. The FIRs were filed starting…