Published on: April 14, 2022 at 08:00 IST
The Bombay High Court granted Bharatiya Janata Party Leader Kirit Somaiya temporary protection from Arrest in connection with a Cheating Case Involving swindling of monies gathered for the Refurbishment of INS Vikrant, the Indian Navy’s first aircraft carrier.
“In the event that the Applicant is arrested, he shall be released on furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and shall Report to the Investigating Officer for four days beginning April 18 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.,” a Single-Judge Bench led by Justice Anuja Prabhudessai ruled, adding that Somaiya’s Pre-Arrest Bail Plea will be heard two weeks later on April 28. It also requested a progress Report on the Probe by that time.
A former Indian Army officer filed a Case of Deception at Trombay Police Station, alleging that Somaiya initiated a fundraising drive in 2013 to keep INS Vikrant from being Decommissioned and Demolished. In his Lawsuit, he stated that Somaiya, his son Neil, and others had raised monies by placing donation boxes across the City.
The Complainant stated that he gave a Rs. 2000 payment because of the significance of INS Vikrant, especially its Involvement to the 1971 war. However, he discovered in 2014 that the battleship had been dismantled and auctioned off to a firm for Rs 60 Crore.
According to the Allegation, Somaiya tweeted that he had sent a Letter to the Governor in 2013 about the Amount Mumbaikars were willing to give. According to the Complainant, the Governor’s Office stated in a response that no money was received from Somaiya between 2013 and 2014.
He went on to say that the Applicant had no idea how the purported sum rose from almost Rs. 11,000 to Rs. 57 Crores based only on an interview with a Political Leader, and that the number was reported in the First Information Report the next day after the interview.
Mundargi sought Temporary Detention for Somaiya. The Bench agreed with Mundargi’s Arguments but noted that the Complaint was unclear and lacked substance at this point. It further said that no Complaints were filed between 2013 and 2022, thus he was granted Temporary Pre-Arrest Bail.