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Expensive watches at reasonable rate: How Rishabh Pant was conned by Haryana cricketer Mrinank Singh

India’s star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has been conned by Haryana cricketer Mrinank Singh. Pant has been duped for Rs 1.63 crore (principal amount) by Mrinank, who offered to get him expensive watches at a “reasonable rate”. Also, he took luxurious items, including jewellery, and did not return the items or the money to the Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper.

Mrinank is currently in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai after he was arrested by Juhu police for cheating a businessman in the city. While the issue has come to the fore recently, the cheque given by Singh to Pant was dishonoured few months ago. In an exclusive interview with Sports Tak, Pant’s lawyer Eklavya Dwivedi explained the timeline of events.

“This is basically a case under negotiable instruments act where the cheque issued by the accused Mr. Mrinank Singh has been dishonoured on account of insufficient funds. To take the story back a little bit, how these two met, how it actually transpired and why this cheque was issued was sometime in 2020 or 2021. Mr. Mrinank Singh, who was known to my client Rishabh Pant through their cricketing commonalities. They met somewhere in the zonal cricket academy camp,” Dwivedi said.

“So in 2021, Mr. Mrinank Singh falsely misrepresented to my client that he has just started a new business dealing in luxury items and he could procure the same items for it at a very reasonable cost. Therefore, on this proposal, he transferred a sizeable account to Mr. Mrinank Singh and also parted with certain luxurious items, jewellery etc which were also for, relatively high amounts, anticipating that the accused Mrinank Singh would be able to resell the same and give him huge profits for it.”

“After a while, when he was not able to obtain those articles, we gave him a legal notice and a mutual settlement was arrived at Rs 1.63 crore for which Mr. Mrinank Singh issues us a cheque. Now, once we presented this cheque before the bank authorities, we got a return memo saying that there has been a dishonourment of the cheque and it has bounced because of insufficient funds,” he further explained.

Apart from the principal amount of Rs 1.63 crore, Dwivedi said that with interest it amounts to somewhere between Rs 1.8 to 1.9 crore as the cheque bounced in February 2021. The 33-year-old, who has been a part of three Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, is looking forward to the next date where the accused will be present virtually.

“He was not present in the last listing of our case before the magistrate. So, the magistrate has issued directors to the SHO over there (police authorities) to connect him virtually at the next date of hearing, which is July 19. He will be present that day and his statement will be recorded. We have also filed an application under section 143A for interim compensation. That will also be taken up and arguments will be heard on that,” Dwivedi concluded.

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