HC asks Suresh Gopi to appear for interrogation

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed actor Suresh Gopi, MP, to appear before the Crime Branch for interrogation on December 21 in connection with a criminal case registered against him for allegedly forging documents to register two luxury cars in Puducherry with a view to evading tax in Kerala.

The court, while passing the directive, ordered deferring the arrest of Mr. Gopi for three weeks and asked him to cooperate with the investigation. The court said that if the investigation officer wanted to interrogate him again, he should be given notice before doing so.

When the anticipatory bail petition filed by Mr. Gopi came up for hearing, senior government pleader Suman Chakravarthy submitted that Mr. Gopi had filed an affidavit attested by a notary, along with his application for registering the vehicles, saying that he was residing at the address in Puducherry.

However, it was revealed during an inquiry that the signature of the notary on the affidavit was not genuine. In fact, the notary had disowned his signature. Besides, the occupants and security guard at the apartment had said that they had not seen or met Mr. Gopi at the apartment in the past six months.

The pleader said that though Mr. Gopi used a car in Delhi, it was often serviced in its showroom in Kochi. Everybody was equal before the law. There could not be different laws for celebrities and common man. Moreover, the act of the petitioner was all the more serious as he was an MP.

Case against him

A case has been registered against the actor under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The actor, in his petition, said he had agricultural property and other property in other parts of the country and had taken on lease a flat at Puducherry. He contended that he had been occupying the flat since 2009. As he had regular activities in Puducherry, he sought to register the vehicles there. Besides, he owned a residence in Bengaluru and his brother, in Coimbatore and Tuticorin. So, the vehicles were driven in these States.

The petition was posted for further hearing in the first week of January.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 5:57:51 PM |

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