Thursday, July 28, 2011

CBI rejects Balkrishna plea, asks him to appear on Friday

Yoga guru Ramdev’s aide Balkrishna on Thursday sought 20 days time to appear before the CBI for questioning in a case under the Passport Act, claiming he has applied for a U.K. visa and his travel document is with that mission.

The agency, however, rejected his plea and asked him to appear without the passport tomorrow for questioning, CBI sources said.

The CBI had asked him to present himself for questioning on Thursday, but sources in the agency said Mr. Balkrishna sent a fax in the morning, saying his passport is with the British High Commission for visa purposes and a reply from there was expected after about 20 days.

In his fax, Mr. Balkrishna said he was also consulting Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani and pleaded that any other date after 20 days may be given to him.

He said he came to know about the CBI notice, which was pasted on the ashram gate, yesterday.

The CBI has rejected his plea and asked him to appear without his passport tomorrow, they said.

Meanwhile, sources said Mr. Balkrishna is likely to move to Uttarakhand High Court to seek anticipatory bail.

The CBI has earlier issued a look-out notice against Mr. Balkrishna after registering a case against him under section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC for procuring fake degree and for violating section 12 of the Indian Passport Act (knowingly furnishing false documents for getting passport).

The agency had also approached the External Affairs Ministry seeking revocation of Mr. Balkrishna’s passport as the educational degrees submitted by him were allegedly found to be fake, the sources said.

A missing persons report was lodged in Kankhal police station in Haridwar by Mr. Balakrishna’s bodyguard Jayendra Singh Aswal on Tuesday after his whereabouts became unclear.

Mr. Balkrishna’s two degrees ‘Purv Madhyma’, a high school degree issued in 1991, and ‘Shastri’, a Sanskrit degree in 1996, don’t figure in the University’s records, Registrar of Sampurna Nand Sanskrit University, which issued the degrees, Rajnish Shukla had said.

He said the CBI had matched records which showed that the enrolment numbers mentioned in the fudged documents belong to a different student.

The documents show Krishna Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, an affiliate of the University, had issued the certificates which have been declared fake by the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The CBI had taken all the documents from the Bareilly passport office after the agency registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) to probe whether Mr. Balkrishna had acquired the travel documents using forged documents.

The charges have been denied by Mr. Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth.

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