London council drops fraud case against Indian-origin mother
A city council in London has withdrawn a prosecution case against an Indian-origin mother who allegedly lied on an admission form to get her son into a good school.world Updated: Jul 03, 2009 13:36 IST
A city council in London has withdrawn a prosecution case against an Indian-origin mother who allegedly lied on an admission form to get her son into a good school.
The Harrow Council had prosecuted Mrinal Patel under the Fraud Act 2006 for giving her mother's address when applying to the much sought after Pinner Park First School.
After withdrawing case, the council said it was not clear if the act could be used for such a case.
"It's a great relief for me and my family. It's been an extremely difficult ordeal and I'm happy to put the matter behind me," relieved Patel said.
"I have from the outset denied the allegations and the council's unconditional withdrawal of the proceedings confirms my innocence," she added.
The school, which allocates seats to those living in nearby areas, received 411 applications for its 90 available places in September 2008.
Patel gave the address of her mother, which was within the school's catchment area, rather than her family address, when she applied for admission for her son.
Patel said she was separated from her husband at that time, but a few weeks later she moved back to her family home.
"This case was never about persecuting mothers who wish to do the best for their children; it was about defending the integrity of the school system against those who might seek to flout it," Councillor David Ashton, Leader of Harrow Council, said in a statement.