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Delhi HC Slaps ₹35,000 Fine on Man Posing as PMO Official, Seeking Special Privileges

Delhi HC Slaps ₹35,000 Fine on Man Posing as PMO Official, Seeking Special Privileges

The Delhi High Court recently levied a fine of ₹35,000 on Vivek Keshavan, accused of representing himself as an official working with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and seeking facilities like temple darshans, government accommodation, and cars.

Justice Navin Chawla, in the course of addressing Vivek Keshavan's petition challenging the trial court's decision to frame charges against him for violations under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 419 (cheating by impersonation), and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), imposed the aforementioned costs on Keshavan.'

Allegations suggest that Keshavan, along with Pramod Kumar Singh, placed calls to numerous government officials stationed at Pondicherry and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board in Andhra Pradesh.

During these phone conversations, Singh purported himself to be the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office, requesting government vehicles, accommodation, and darshan facilities. He informed the officials that Vivek Keshavan would be visiting these locations and emphasized the necessity of providing similar facilities for him as well.

Keshavan contended that he played no part in the scam, asserting that Singh used his name and contact information to acquire various government benefits, and Keshavan himself never initiated any calls requesting such favors. Furthermore, Keshavan stated that he did not personally benefit from the purported actions. Contrarily, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) argued that there were explicit allegations and evidence indicating government officials contacted the petitioner's (Keshavan's) phone number to verify his visit to Pondicherry and inquire about the services he intended to utilize.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed that Keshavan was indeed provided with a vehicle in Pondicherry, and his accommodation was arranged at a government hotel in the same location. After considering the facts presented, the Court concluded that a prima facie case for framing charges existed, and there were no flaws in the trial court's decision.

Keshavan’s plea was, therefore, dismissed.

Advocates Vishwendra Verma, Shivali and Archit Verma appeared for Vivek Keshavan.

CBI was represented by its Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Prasanta Varma as well as advocates Pankaj Kumar, Pragya Verma and Rakesh Kumar Palo.

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