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A city court on Tuesday dismissed allegations of cheating against Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and former members of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. A complaint had alleged that they had cheated customers by selling “Anna SMS cards” and discontinuing the service before the expiry date.
The Anna SMS cards were launched last year to update its subscribers about the IAC campaign. The cards were sold for Rs 25 each and were valid for a year.
The complaint had been filed by Rumal Singh of the Bharatiya Aam Aadmi Parivar (BAAP), a group that claims to have been associated with the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement earlier.
He had complained that within a month of purchasing the cards, the service was discontinued without any convincing
reason. Singh had alleged that the accused had generated revenue over Rs 100 crore from the sale and asked for directions towards registering an FIR in the matter.
The court had asked the police to submit a detailed action taken report in the case.
On Tuesday, after the police gave a clean chit to Hazare and the former IAC members, the court dismissed Singh’s petition. “No offence has been made out and no police action is warranted,” Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain said while rejecting the plea.
In their report, police said Singh did not cooperate in the inquiry into the offence and hence no offence was made out against the former IAC members.
According to the report, the SMS cards were purchased “willingly” by Singh and other volunteers without being “induced by IAC and its team leaders”. Police said Singh’s greivance was “civil in nature” and that they had asked him to approach a consumer forum on the issue.
The complaint had accused Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai, Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and service providers Mindsarray Tech Pvt Ltd (Mumbai) and Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd of cheating the public.
The IAC started selling these SMS cards from the last week of February last year in the World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan.
In a letter sent to Anna Hazare last month, Kejriwal wrote, “The funds collected by selling the cards has been mentioned clearly in the audit reports of Public Cause Research Foundation. Long before the party was formed, the sale of Anna cards had been stopped. We had refunded the money to those who had unused cards.”