28 July 2021 5:15 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim bail to a 39-year-old woman, accused of using a fake PhD degree for practicing at a Hospital in Mumbai's Bandra area. Earlier, the woman had accused her estranged husband and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut of harassment in three separate petitions. Swapna Patkar practised at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra (West) for at least two years by...
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim bail to a 39-year-old woman, accused of using a fake PhD degree for practicing at a Hospital in Mumbai's Bandra area. Earlier, the woman had accused her estranged husband and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut of harassment in three separate petitions.
Swapna Patkar practised at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra (West) for at least two years by allegedly using a fake PhD degree in clinical psychology before she was removed from the post. She was booked for offences under Sections 467, 468, 420 of the IPC.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar on Monday granted Patkar bail till the pendency of her plea to quash the stringent section of 467 (Forgery of valuable security) of the IPC against her.
"The petitioner was arrested on June 8. Sufficient time has elapsed since the date of arrest of petitioner so as to facilitate an effective investigation. The petitioner is a woman. In the exigencies of the situation on account of Covid-19 pandemic, the aspect of continued detention of petitioner also needs to be considered. She claimed that her minor son and old mother are dependent on her," the Court said.
The court observed that prima facie Section 467 would not be attracted in the present case as the PhD degree wouldn't fall within the definition of valuable security.
"Since we are of the view that offence punishable under Section 467 (punishment for forgery of valuable security, will etc) of the IPC, which entails imprisonment for life, is not prima facie made out, the aforesaid factors persuade us to grant the relief of bail to the petitioner pending the petition for quashing of charges... At this stage, at the most, the charge of offence punishable under Section 465 (forgery) of IPC can be said to have been prima facie made out," the bench added.
Patkar represented by Advocate Abha Singh undertook not to use her degree, or practice as a clinical psychologist or counsellor till the pendency of the petition.
In three other pleas, the woman had earlier accused certain persons of stalking and harassing her at the behest of Raut and her estranged husband. Last week the bench concluded hearing on the pleas and reserved its verdict in the same.
Singh had vehemently argued for Patkar that the circumstances under which the FIR was registered were suspicious because she had tried serving the complainant with a copy of her petition, but the neighbours informed her that she didn't live there. Moreover, she claimed her arrest was "illegal" and "malafide" as she accused senior officers of not acting on her complaint.
The court noted that the genesis of the prosecution's case is in a chance discovery of certain documents delivered at a woman's doorstep. While anyone could set the law in motion, the element of inquisitiveness which the complainant displayed may warrant consideration.
Opposing the petition Chief PP Arun Pai for the State submitted that Patkar had acquired many fake degrees and qualifications. The police received communication from the Controller of Exams of the University in Kanpur on May 25 that the certificate was not genuine, and an FIR was lodged on May 26.
However, the High Court directed Patkar to be released after furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 25,000, along with surety. It also asked her to cooperate with the probe by appearing before the Bandra police as and when required.
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