The police’s move to seek custody of Kashinath Tapuriah – co-accused, with Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, in a money-laundering case – in a 2008 alleged fake passport case is “absurd”, the Bombay High Court said and granted him anticipatory bail on Monday.
Justice Abhay Thipsay observed that even Khan should be discharged from the case considering that the police have not even managed to seize the alleged forged passports. “To deny him anticipatory bail in this case would be absurd looking into the delay and also [that] the passport in question is not [yet] seized,” Thipsay said.
The Worli police have sought Tapuriah’s custody to interrogate him in the case registered against Khan in 2008 for allegedly procuring passports based on forged documents in 1998.
The court has already permitted the police to interrogate Tapuriah in custody, after permission from the concerned court that is trying him in the money-laundering case.
The court has directed that Tapuriah be released against cash of Rs 50,000 or sureties in case he is arrested in the passport case. Tapuriah has also been asked to go to the police station everyday for 10 days, and later, when required. The issue of attendance arises only if he gets bail in the money-laundering case.
Public prosecutor KV Saste had sought Tapuriah’s custody saying that he is not co-operating with the police. “The police tried to question him in judicial custody earlier after the special court’s permission, but he is not co-operating,” he said.
Tapuriah’s counsel IP Bagaria pointed out that three years after the case was registered, the police have not yet filed the charge sheet or seized the alleged passports.
“The main accused [Khan] was granted bail in 2008 itself, how then can they now seek Tapuriah’s custody?” he asked.