Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) H (west) ward (Khar, Bandra west) has registered an FIR against three of a family for forging their Covid-19 positive report to negative so that they could fly to Jaipur to attend a marriage. The family was already at the airport ready to fly when a BMC team, getting wind of their plans, warned them to return home or face the consequences.
According to BMC officials, the three people – husband, 53, wife, 51, and their 15-year-old daughter were scheduled to travel to Jaipur for a wedding and had got themselves tested for Covid-19. Their samples were collected on February 26 morning and the results were released on the same day in the evening. All three had tested positive.
What followed next was very shocking, according to BMC officials. “This meant that the three should have home-quarantined and were not supposed to fly to Jaipur. I am shocked to see their determination to attend the marriage function. They forged their test reports, editing them from ‘positive’ to ‘negative’. However, they did not realise that a copy of their reports and update was submitted to the BMC ward war room,” said Vinayak Vispute, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of H (west) ward.
After the BMC ward war room got their updates, as per the protocol, they tried contacting the family. When they finally answered, they informed the BMC that they are on their way to Jaipur and had already reached the airport.
“When confronted with the question of how could they be travelling as they had tested positive for Covid-19, the family replied that they had tested negative and they had their results with them. To verify if there was some mistake, we asked them to send the copy to us by email or WhatsApp. They did so. When we verified it with the lab, we were informed that the negative reports were not issued by them, the original reports of the three had been positive,” Vispute said.
“It is beyond me, when I think how can people be so naive, or they just did not care. Their act has risked the lives of others too, all those who must have come in contact with them,” he said.
The family was asked to return home. An FIR was lodged at the Khar police station by the medical officer of health, H (west) ward and the trio were booked under various sections of Indian Penal code -- 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 465 (Punishment for forgery), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
A senior official attached to Khar police station said that they received a complaint from a civic health officer, acting on which a case was registered against three members of a family who were trying to travel to Jaipur by flight. The civic official said in the complaint that the accused tried to fly despite being Covid-positive.
“We have booked the accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Covid rules for trying to avert quarantine, forgery and cheating. Since the family has been asked to quarantine, we will probe the matter when they are released from the quarantine facility and investigate. Prima facie the complaint is that the accused ‘edited’ the Covid-positive report to avail their flight from the airport,” said the official.