Bhatt has been charged under IPC sections 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating), 467 (Punishment for forgery), 468 (Forgery), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (Criminal conspiracy). (Representational Image)
Former BJP MLA from Godhra, Hareshkumar Bhatt has moved the Gujarat High Court (HC) with a plea for anticipatory bail in relation to an FIR filed on January 21 which accused him of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Heard by the court of Justice Vipul Pancholi on Friday, the court took into consideration that Bhatt “is aged about 71 years” as was submitted by his advocates. The court granted him interim relief, ordering that he shall not be arrested till the returnable date, February 27.
The FIR alleges that Bhatt, chairman of one Manjushree (Vasna) Owners Association, and the association’s secretary Rupal Bharatkumar Bhatt, had sold the sale deed of the association’s property for Rs 1.55 crore to one Sunny Kaushikbhai Patel. It was also alleged that the two, in spite of not having any share or possession of the association’s property, made false resolutions and criminally conspired with the intention of seizing the property.
Bhatt has been charged under IPC sections 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating), 467 (Punishment for forgery), 468 (Forgery), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (Criminal conspiracy).
Bhatt’s plea for anticipatory bail was rejected earlier this month by an Ahmedabad court.
The same was challenged at HC on the ground that the lower court judge “has not given apt reasons while rejecting the anticipatory bail application...The applicant submits that the inferences drawn, presumptions made and conclusions arrived at by the learned Additional Sessions Judge in favour of the prosecution and against the present applicant are bad in law, illegal and unwarranted.”
Bhatt also submitted that an offence of forgery was not made and the remaining offences are bailable in nature.
Bhatt was the national vice-president of Bajrang Dal at the time of 2002 Gujarat riots.