IG Lakshman trying to avoid probe in cheating case: Crime Branch to Kerala HC

The Crime Branch wing of Kerala police has claimed in the High Court that Inspector General of Police G Lakshman, an accused in a cheating case connected to controversial antiques dealer Monson Mavunkal, was “trying to avoid” the probe in the case.

The agency, in a plea seeking quashing of the interim bail granted to the senior IPS officer, alleged that he was “evading” appearance before the investigating officer by furnishing “inconsistent medical certificates”.

The Crime Branch contended that in the event of his arrest he was to be released on bail as ordered on June 21 by the High Court.

The High Court had also directed the officer to cooperate with the investigation, the agency claimed.

However, Lakshman was “trying to avoid the investigation and purposefully violating the interim order granted by this court”, the agency has claimed.

“The reasons stated by the petitioner (Lakshman) for not complying with the notices issued by the investigating officer are not at all genuine and are meant only to escape from questioning.

“In such circumstances, the petitioner is not entitled to enjoy the benefit of the interim order granted by this court,” the Crime Branch contended in its plea seeking cancellation of the interim bail.

The agency also contended that there was material and relevant evidence which connected Lakshman with the cheating case, in which Mavunkal is the prime accused, and hence, “he is evading the appearance before the investigation officer (IO)”.

It also alleged that the two inconsistent medical certificates produced by the senior police officer create a reasonable suspicion that he collected the documents “using his post as an IPS officer as well as IGP without any reason”.

The High Court had on June 21 ordered that the IPS officer be released on bail in the event of his arrest in the case and the same was extended from time to time.

The court had also said that the IO can seek his presence by issuing him a notice under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The agency has claimed that despite issuing two notices for appearing before the IO, the officer each time sought to postpone his appearance by producing medical certificates.

The IG is accused of various offences punishable under Sections 468 (forgery) and 420 (cheating) among other provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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Mavunkal, who claims to be in possession of rare and historic antiques, was arrested in September 2021 by the district crime branch, which has been probing a case against him of cheating several people of Rs 10 crore.

As soon as he was arrested, photos of the accused with KPCC chief K Sudhakaran, senior IPS officials, top bureaucrats and many others were telecast in the mainstream media.

The complaint against Mavunkal was forwarded to the Ernakulam District Crime Branch from the Chief Minister’s Office after six victims approached the Chief Minister.

Mavunkal had apparently borrowed the amount from various people, saying he was in need of funds to “clear procedures to obtain Rs 2,65,000 crore, a massive amount from his account in a foreign bank”.

The antique dealer was recently sentenced to life imprisonment till the end of his natural life for repeatedly raping a girl a few years ago.

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