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Breaking: Mumbai Special Court Rejects Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya's Plea For Anticipatory Bail In INS Vikrant Cheating Case

Sharmeen Hakim
11 April 2022 12:02 PM GMT
Breaking: Mumbai Special Court Rejects Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiyas Plea For Anticipatory Bail In INS Vikrant Cheating Case
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The Special Court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya in a cheating case related to the collection of fund to save warship INS Vikrant. The Court said there are pictures to show that Somaiya collected money, a letter that he was going to deposit the money with the Governor, but didn't.The Court will pronounce order on the pre-arrest bail...

The Special Court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya in a cheating case related to the collection of fund to save warship INS Vikrant.

The Court said there are pictures to show that Somaiya collected money, a letter that he was going to deposit the money with the Governor, but didn't.

The Court will pronounce order on the pre-arrest bail plea moved by his son Niel, tomorrow.

Senior Advocate Ashok Mundargi for the duo argued that the campaign to save the ship was launched by the BJP, Congress and the Shiv Sena and they were being targeted by political vendetta.

The Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police has opposed the anticipatory bail applications saying that instead of appearing before the investigating officer, they approached the court.
A reply opposing the father-son duo's applications the EOW denies the allegations that it is a politically motivated case as it has been filed after a gap of over seven years under instructions of a specific political party. The FIR at Mumbai's Trombay Police Station by a person claiming to be a retired army personnel, Baban Bhimrao Bhosale, has been registered under sections 406, 420 and 34 of the IPC.
Among the grounds for opposing the applications and reasons for custodial interrogation, the police say they have witnesses apart from the complainant as well and that the accused have admitted that they did collect funds. The reply says that the accused had not sought permission from any competent authority for collecting the money; that it was necessary to inquire into the purpose for which the funds were utilised; and that Somaiya being a former Member of Parliament and an influential person, there was a likelihood that he may tamper with the evidence by putting pressure on the complainant and witnesses in the case and therefore obstruct the investigation process.
The reply filed by Inspector Vinay Ghorpade of the EOW Unit 6 of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch says that the complainant has brought forward whatever information he could, which may not be comprehensive in nature but he has set the law in motion.
"After receiving information about the amount of embezzlement deposited in the said case in the year 2022, the complainant was convinced that the said amount had been embezzled. He immediately lodged a complaint in this regard and as he is not affiliated with any political party. Therefore, the allegations made by the accused that there is a delay of over seven years in lodging the complaint and that it has been done under instructions of a particular political party," the reply states.
According to the police's reply, the complainant in this case was a retired army personnel and he, on coming to know that Somaiya had launched a campaign to "save INS Vikrant", had himself donated Rs 2,000 in cash for the campaign.
The complaint further alleged that Somaiya had, in December 2013, tweeted that he was meeting the Governor of Maharashtra with a demand to save the warship and that citizens of Mumbai were willing to donate Rs 140 crore to save it. The complaint, based on media reports, alleges that Somaiya had collected around Rs 57 crore for that purpose from outside various railway stations in the city, but it was never used for the same as the ship was dismantled and sold in scrap in 2014. According to the complaint, an application under the Right to Information Act to Maharashtra Governor's office said that Somaiya had not deposited any money with the Governor's office in that regard.
Mundargi submitted that in 2022, nearly nine years later the objection is that the receipt was not given to the complainant. He questioned what the prosecution was doing for so long.
"All parts were sold in 2014," Mundargi asserted that Shiv Sena was also responsible, it was also collecting money.
He said Somaiya is no more in the government.
He said it was a party that organised the program and that individuals are never in power.
He said it is not like they were standing there and collecting money worth Rs. 57 crores.
He said that today the scenario is such that they are meeting allegations against the ruling party and that interviews are being generated, that father and son both will be in prison.
Mundargi further argued that the section 41A notice of the CrPC was only a farce and that this was a clear case of political vendetta. He finally asked how was Somaiya involved in the deposit of money with the governor.
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