Bombay high court grants Kirit Somaiya interim protection from arrest


Two days after the Mumbai sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail plea, the Bombay high court on Wednesday granted BJP leader Kirit Somaiya interim protection from arrest in connection with the cheating case registered against him and his son Neil for allegedly misappropriating funds collected for saving INS Vikrant from being scrapped and converting India’s first aircraft carrier into a museum. “The FIR indicates that allegations are mainly based on media reports. Though there is specific allegation of misappropriation of ₹57 crore, there is no material on record to indicate on what basis the complainant has arrived at the said figure,” said a single judge bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai.

The bench granted interim relief to the former MP, noting that the money was allegedly collected in 2013, but the FIR was registered last week – after about nine years and the complaint was vague and there was no material on record to indicate on what basis the complainant arrived at the figure of ₹57 crore.

The bench ordered that in the event of arrest, Somaiya be released on a personal bond of ₹50,000. The court also directed the BJP leader to report to the investigating officer on April 18 between 11 am to 2 pm. The court then posted his application for pre-arrest bail for further hearing on April 28 with direction to the Trombay police to submit a report indicating progress in their investigation.

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