Pune: District Court Rejects Actor Vikram Gokhale’s Pre-Arrest Bail Application In Cheating, Forgery Case

Vikram Gokhale
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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, September 29, 2020: The District and Sessions Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of actor Vikram Gokhale, who is an accused in the Girivan plots project case in which people have been cheated of Rs 96.99 lakh.

What is the case all about?

The prosecution case is that the complainant Jayant Prabhakar Bahirat lodged report to Paud Police Station, Pune rural police, stating that since 1989 till date accused No.1 Jayant Mhalgi, son of late BJP leader Rambhau Mhalgi, and accused No.2 Sujata Mhalgi were the director and accused No.3 Vikram Gokhale is the chairman of Sujata Farm Pvt. Ltd’s Girivan Project. 

“They have falsely shown that it is a government recognized project and made several advertisements and give false promise and made the persons purchase the plots in order to gain profit and prepared forged documents of various lands for the purpose of cheating and sold the same to various persons. The accused persons sold the land to 14 persons illegally for an amount of Rs 96,99,000 for their financial benefit and thereby cheating the complainant and others”, the FIR states. The case was registered in March this year.

The accused persons have been booked for offences under sections 420 (cheating), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 341 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 447 (punishment for criminal trespass), 427 (mischief causing damage) read with section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

Gokhale’s Defence

Gokhale has contended that he is neither director nor chairman of M/s. Sujata Farms Pvt. Ltd. He was not party to any deed, document or he has not accepted any consideration or part thereof from any complainant. He is an artist performing in Hindi & Marathi Cinema for last 50 years. M/s. Sujata Farms Pvt. Ltd. requested him to allow them to use his name and celebrity status for the purpose of promoting their campaign and offered him a minor honorarium for the same in the year 1997. Apart from that, he has no nexus with M/s. Sujata Farms Pvt. Ltd. The date of execution of agreements are appearing almost 5 to 7 years back and hence FIR is an afterthought.  

Police oppose anticipatory bail

The prosecution has opposed the application on the the ground that if he is released on bail he will pressurize the the complainant and other prosecution witnesses. “The accused persons in collusion with other accused persons have cheated the complainant and other persons financially for an amount of Rs 96,99,000. The accused persons have avoided to hand over documents about it. The witnesses are old aged persons. Due to COVID19 detailed investigation could not be done with them. If accused is released on bail he will pressurize the prosecution witnesses and complainant. The accused no. 1 Jayant in his statement has stated that accused no. 3 is chairman and accused no.3 in his statement stated that he does not have any relation with Sujata Farms Pvt.Ltd. He is only made chairman for publication. Therefore, the custodial interrogation of the present accused is necessary. The documents are yet to be verified. All the accused persons have cheated the complainant and other by execution forged documents. If he is released on bail he will pressurize the complainant and prosecution witnesses. Hence it prayed to reject the application”, police stated in their application.

Court rejects pre-arrest bail 

Additional Sessions judge Madhuri Deshpande in her order dated September 25 stated, “Considering the facts and considering the nature and gravity of the offence, and the act committed by the applicant/accused, and considering the role played by the accused in the offence in question, I find that detailed the investigation is necessary. Therefore, this is not a fit case to enlarge the accused on bail.”