Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail petition of karate expert who apprehended arrest in a case filed against him for forging documents to get a Maharashtra government award.
Vispi Kapadia, Ex-President of Maharashtra Karate Association, had received an award known as "Utkrushtha Kreeda Margadarshak Puraskar" instituted by the state government in 2009. This award was earlier known as "Dadoji Kondeo Award".
According to a complaint filed against Kapadia in Gamdevi police station, he had forged and fabricated merit certificates of some sports persons to show that they were his students and had participated in the national karate events.
The complaint alleged that he had fabricated documents to substantiate his eligibility to be a recipient of the said prestigious award. It also said that the State award was a stepping stone for him to receive the 'Dronacharya' Award.
Later, the complaint filed in Gamdevi police station was transferred to Mumbai Crime Branch to probe the allegations.
Being aggrieved, he filed an anticipatory bail plea in a sessions court which was rejected. Kapadia then filed an appeal in the High Court which too rejected it.
"This Court is of the opinion that the offences under Section 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code have been clearly made out against the applicant (Kapadia)."
"The letters of assurances annexed along with the proposals are forged documents as the students have clearly stated that they had not signed the said documents and hence this Court is not inclined to grant pre-arrest bail to him," said a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka on March 13.
"In the facts and circumstances of the present case and for the observations made herein above, this Court is not inclined to grant pre-arrest bail to the applicant. The application being sans merit, the same is rejected," the Judges ruled.
However, hearing a plea made by Kapadia's lawyer Amit Desai, the HC extended by three weeks interim relief granted to him earlier.
Prosecutor Geeta Mulekar argued that the award given to the applicant is a stepping stone for achieving Dronacharya award. In the eventuality that there is no investigation in the present case, the applicant in all probabilities would settle the dispute with the complainant and other office bearers and may also apply for Dronacharya award and that would lead to another fraud upon the sports community.
In view of this, the applicant does not deserve pre-arrest bail, she argued adding that the present offence needs to be investigated at a large scale as there are influential persons involved.
The complaint alleged that by a letter dated August 24, 2011, the then Joint Secretary of All India Karate Association Sharif Bapu had addressed various authorities complaining about the illegal acts of forgery and fabrication of certificates by the accused in order to manage the points to obtain the highest civilian sports award.
Sharif Bapu had also addressed a letter to the then Home Minister R R Patil on September 7, 2011 who in turn directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police to inquire into the matter.
The President of AIKF had then directed that a committee be constituted to inquire into the grievances. The present applicant had been suspended from primary membership and all posts of AIKF by a letter dated November 23, 2011. He was expelled vide letter dated November 28, 2011.
Since the police had not taken cognizance of the report lodged by the complainant he was constrained to file a private complaint. The Magistrate has passed an order under Section 156(3) of CrPc asking police to probe the allegations. It was only then that a case was registered in Gamdevi police station which was later transferred to Crime Branch police in Mumbai.