A local court in Srinagar on Thursday dismissed bail plea of man from Gujarat, Kiran Bhai Patel, who conned the security establishment in Kashmir into believing him to be a PMO official and got the requisite perks prior to his arrest earlier this month.
Having reserved the order on Monday after hearing the arguments of the counsel representing Patel and additional public prosecutor, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar Raja Mohammad Tasleem found the bail plea “devoid of any merit”.
“I am of the considered opinion that arguments advanced by APP are just, proper and appealing and carries much weight and on the other hand I respectfully disagree with the submission put forth by Counsel for the applicant (Patel) 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,” the court said. “Resultantly, in my considered opinion the instant application is devoid of any merit which deserves to be rejected, hence rejected.”
Kiran Patel, the alleged imposter hailing from Gujarat posed as an additional director (strategy and campaigns) in the Prime Minister’s Office and enjoyed many perks, including a bulletproof car and security cover besides other hospitality. Kiran Patel was on his third visit to the Kashmir Valley when he was nabbed by security officials from a five-star hotel in Nishat area of Srinagar on March 2.
Police has ruled out any intelligence failure in the entire episode but blamed field officers for “lapse” with further avowal of action against those involved. “There has been a proper FIR in this case. See, when Srinagar police got information on March 2, a team headed by a senior IPS officer arrested him red handed. Fake visiting cards were recovered,” ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar (IPS) said recently. “Rigorous interrogation was done. He remained under police custody for 14 days. He is presently in judicial remand. He is in jail completely,” he had said, adding, “We are professionally carrying out investigation. We are taking help from Gujarat police and nobody will be spared”.
Asked about “clear cut” guidelines by MHA that no security should be given to anyone on verbal instructions, he had said, “The SOP is there from the beginning. Instructions come from time to time. Police should not provide security to anyone on verbal instructions. We don’t. The mistake which has happened is being looked into and action will be taken against the officer who has given instructions.”
Asked if it was an intelligence failure, the ADGP had responded in negative, saying “we cannot call it intelligence failure. There has been negligence at the field officer level and action will be taken.”
It was first Srinagar based news agency Kashmir Dot Com that broke this story “Srinagar police in a high profile case, have arrested this conman, a resident of ‘Gujarat’ allegedly by forged means posing as Additional Director (Strategy & Campaigns) Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi, at Hotel Lalit in Srinagar on specific input received by CID wing of J&K Police.”
An FIR number 19 of 2023 was registered by Srinagar police in Police Station Nishat reads “on 02-03-2023 a reliable information received by Police Station Nishat has revealed that a fraudster namely Kiran Bhai Patel son of Jagdesh Bhai Patel resident of Gujarat has by virtue of criminal intention indulged in activities within the jurisdiction of this police station and other parts of Kashmir valley and by employing high degree of forged means. Kiran Bhai has impersonated himself as a senior government official of India.”
“The said individual, by resorting to cheating, forgery and impersonation has duped gullible people and also intentionally induced people to do and also to omit to do activities, under a well-knit plan for securing monetary as well as material benefits.
The imposter had taken the J&K administration and security structure for a ride by securing Z-plus security cover, a bulletproof Mahindra Scorpio SUV, official accommodation at a five-star hotel, and a lot more,” reads the FIR.