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Court drops Sh71million charges against businessman

 Businessman Parminder Singh Manku before a Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Charges against a businessman who was charged with stealing over Sh71 million from his business partners have been withdrawn.

 The Director of Public Prosecution dropped the charges after it emerged that the claims against Parminder Singh Manku were civil and not criminal.

 Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki heard that Manku had in fact been authorised to be the signatory of the bank account at the heart of the case.

 At the same time, the court heard that the case did not have a complainant as neither the bank or the company lodged a claim with the police.

 Manku had been charged with three counts of stealing by a company's director, forgery and uttering a false document to a bank to lie that he was the sole director of their company.

 "On diverse dates between August 5, 2021, and October 23, 2021, in Westlands within Nairobi County being a director of Elite Earth Movers Limited stole Sh71,500,000, the property of the company which came into your possession by virtue of being the company's director," read the charge sheet.

On the second count, Manku was charged with forging Lalji Meghi and Company Limited Board resolution minutes purporting to be the sole signatory of the company's account at Standard Chartered Bank.

 The third count alleged that the businessman fraudulently uttered the forged company minutes to the bank, unaware that they were not resolutions passed by the board.

 The complainants, Pravin Mavji Patel and Daxsha Pravin, through their lawyer, told the court that Manku had been on the run after committing the alleged offences in 2021 and asked the court to issue tough bail terms.

 But the businessman argued that the charges were a result of vendetta resulting from business rivalry and that he could not steal from a company where he is a director.

 The magistrate released him on a cash bail of Sh1 million with two contact persons and ordered that he surrenders his passport to the court.

 Ondieki ordered that the businessman should be freed and his cash bail reimbursed.

 “The matter is withdrawn under Section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act. Cash bail shall be released to the depositor,” ruled Ondieki.

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