The Shivaji Park police on Sunday arrested the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS’) Dadar unit chief and the manager of a construction firm for allegedly preparing a fake ration card in the name of Bombay High Court Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar.
The MNS had used the bogus ration card to illustrate how easy it was to get such documents.
In August, the MNS had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the high court to challenge the use of ration cards as identity proof in the Assembly polls as they “facilitate bogus voting”. On August 9, MNS activists presented the ration card to the chief justice. The PIL, however, was dismissed.
On August 13, the Shivaji Park police registered a first information report against the procurement of the card following a high court order.
MNS leader Girish Dhanurkar (38) was arrested from his Mahim residence on Sunday. “We booked him for cheating, forgery and under the Essential Commodities Act. He was remanded in police custody till October 1,” said Milind Bharambe, deputy commissioner of police (Zone 5).
MNS activists claimed the card was delivered to their office by a Chembur-based courier company and they were unaware of the source. “We took the courier details from the envelope that contained the card and visited the Andheri office from where it was sent,” said Bharambe.
The courier details led the police to Ashok Donde (23), a Kural resident and manager with a construction firm. “We arrested him a fortnight ago,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.
Dhonde claimed he sent the envelope to the MNS office at Dhanurkar’s behest.
“Dhanurkar has confessed to his involvement,” the officer said.
In the forged ration card, Kumar’s residence was shown as 55, Joglekar Building, Shivaji Park, Dadar, instead of his official bungalow at Malabar Hill. The card’s “issuance date” was in 2001, when Kumar was a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.