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City court denies bail to Gujarat conman

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Says bail granted at this stage ‘shall definitely destroy the very fabric of investigation'

Srinagar: A city court on Thursday rejected the bail application and directed thorough investigation into the matter about Gujarati fraudster who conned the J&K’s security establishment and posed as an official from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and enjoyed VVIP protocol prior to his arrest.

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Raja Mohammad Tasleem, while rejecting the bail application of conman Kiran Bhai Patel, son of Jagdish Bhai Patel of Gujarat observed: “I disagree with the submission put forth by counsel for the applicant because in case at this stage discretion of bail is exercised in favour of the accused, it shall definitely destroy the very fabric of the investigation.”

He accordingly rejected the petition of the accused and directed a thorough investigation to probe every angle of the episode.

Kiran Bhai Patel, the Gujarati thug, posed as Additional Director PMO, and had been operating in Kashmir for several months. He enjoyed official protocol including a bulletproof car and Z security cover, accommodation in Hotel Grand Lalit, valley’s top hotel, besides other official hospitality. He was on his third visit to the Kashmir Valley at the time of his arrest.

An FIR has been lodged against him for offences under sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.

Pleading for his bail, the conman’s lawyer said that the accused has been arrested without any rhyme and reason. He is a “law-abiding citizen” and the police report lodged against him is “concocted, false and frivolous; hence deserves to be given the concession of law”.

He argued that in case the discretion of bail is not exercised in favour of the accused, it shall definitely deteriorate the health condition of the accused.

The case diary, according to the prosecution, says that the accused Patel impersonated himself as Additional Director (Strategy and Campaign) in PMO, New Delhi. By resorting to cheating, forgery and impersonation, he has duped gullible people.

He, according to the diary, has also held high-level meetings with top functionaries of J&K and has been found attracting cognizablity to the extent of section 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 of IPC.

It averred that the accused by using his fake identity as Dr. Kiran Bhai Patel, Addl. Director, misused it to visit some of the most secure and highly sensitive locations which in normal course no common individual or tourist is authorized to access.

After hearing the arguments and counter disagreements, the CJM Raja Tasleem observed that it is spectacularly evident the accused has prima facie forged and manufactured some documents including some visiting cards. On their basis, he has defrauded extremely elevated classes of the society, including high officials of the civil administration and police.

The judge observed that there is enough material available on the file, suggestive of the fact that while meeting different and a variety of people and conducting meetings with highly elevated officials of civil administration and police, the accused may have received hefty amounts for different purposes. These areas of the matter seem not to have been investigated so far.

He observed that no recoveries have been made by the investigating agency so far, hence a detailed and thorough investigation is also required to be conducted as far as this area of the matter is concerned.

A meticulous and careful perusal of CD file and material available on record reflects that a number of persons have remained closely connected with the accused whose nexus with the accused person requires proper investigation.

As far as sophisticated and well-planned criminal activities of the accused are concerned, a well-knit network of the accused cannot be ruled out in terms of investigation so far conducted.

The matter can not be taken lightly, hence again a thorough investigation is required to be conducted as to what could be the other possible connection of the accused which can be checked, scanned and controlled at the initial stage, so that an ugly situation is not again erupted, directed the court.

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