The Bombay high court on Tuesday granted pre-arrest bail to Reshma Khan, the wife of Mumbai BJP leader Haider Azam, who has been booked for allegedly trying to get an Indian passport on fake documents while being a Bangladeshi.
Justice CV Bhadang has directed that in case of arrest, Khan be released on a personal bond of Rs 25,000. Directing her to co-operate with the investigation, Khan has been directed to attend the police station as and when required. Besides, she has been directed not to tamper with prosecution witnesses and evidence.
Khan had approached the HC after the sessions court rejected her plea on January 3 observing that her birth certificate is prima facie a forged one and her custodial interrogation was required to probe the case in detail, including who else is involved in it.
Her counsel argued that the case was filed out of political vendetta. “Case is nothing more than a political vendetta. Its (filing of the case) only purpose is harassment, maligning (Khan’s) image and political vendetta,” said the counsel.
She said that the following notice from Malvani police, she appeared before the concerned police station along with her parents and their statements were recorded. They have even submitted all the necessary documents, some of which shows that her grandfather was a part of the Bihar police. “If the police have all the documents, then what is the need for arrest?” asked her counsel.
Her counsel further alleged that it was a tug of war between political parties, in which Khan was being made a scapegoat. “It’s a tug of war between two political parties. It started with Sameer Wankhede (former NCB zonal director) and came to this (allegations against Khan). Every day, NCP minister Nawab Malik took press conferences and made allegations,” argued her counsel.
The public prosecutor sought time to obtain the status of the investigation and requirement of custodial interrogation (of Khan).
However, the HC granted protection to Khan.
The case was lodged by retired police inspector Deepak Kurulkar against Khan and the state’s Additional Director General of police Deven Bharti and Assistant Commissioner of Police Deepak Phatangare. The complaint on the police officials was for blocking action against Khan back in 2017. The alleged incident pertains to between 2015 and 2017, whereas the complaint was filed on December 10, 2021.
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