Conman Kiran Patel was formally arrested on Saturday by Gujarat Police for impersonating as a senior PMO official to avail of VIP privileges during two recent trips to Jammu and Kashmir. Though arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on March 2, his custody was finally transferred to the Gujarat Police (36 days later) on April 8.
Ahmedabad Crime Branch officials stated Patel would be questioned in connection with three cases under the IPC and two non-cognizable offences. According to DCP (Crime) Chaitanya Mandlik, Patel and wife Malini have been booked under Sections 406, 420, 120B and 170 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These relate to charges of cheating, criminal breach of trust, impersonating a public servant, and criminal conspiracy. In all, Patel stands booked in four different cases in Gujarat.
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The primary complaint, however, remains the case of “usurping” a bungalow in upmarket Shilaj belonging to Jagdish Chavda, brother of BJP leader Jawahar Chavda.
Having set out from Srinagar late Thursday evening, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch team, having taken possession of Patel on a transfer warrant, finally arrived after a 36-hour journey at 1.15 am on Saturday morning. He was produced before the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court on Saturday evening. Patel’s lawyer, Nisar Vaidya, said that the crime branch had sought a 14-day police remand but the court granted a 7-day custody till April 15.
Post a medical examination, accused Kiran Bhai alias Bansi, son Jagdish Patel, 45-years-old resident A/B 17 Prestige Bungalows, Ghodsar was formally arrested at 3:15 am. His wife Malini Patel was earlier arrested in the same case on March 28.
Police insiders shared that the remand was necessary to interrogate the accused. “He also claims a doctorate. He does not have any reputable balance sheet in the bank but was able to issue four cheques worth Rs 50 lakhs. It is possible that the accused has forged his way through other official channels? Two separate cases have been registered at Naroda and Jammu and Kashmir. However, the series of frauds seems deeper,” detailed an investigating officer.
Patel’s counsel, advocate Vaidya, however indicated a different angle: “He is being used by unseen powers to quieten political noise. The renovation was undertaken for Rs 35 lakhs. Plus, the bungalow is still in the complainant’s name. My client’s name is not registered on the revenue records of the property in question. There is a one-year gap between the date of occurrence and date of complaint. The matter is sub-judice in a civil court. What was the tearing hurry to arrest Patel and his wife?”
Meanwhile, the police will also investigate the legitimacy of Kiran Patel’s educational degrees. He claims to have a Diploma in Computer Engineering from Ambawadi Political College and a Diploma in Engineering from LD Engineering College. “Further, he also claimed he pursued a one-year executive MBA from Indian Institute of Management at Trichy in Tamil Nadu during 2021-22. During preliminary questioning, he stated working as a programmer at an advertising agency in Ahmedabad where created advertisements and designed the websites for political parties. It was here that he harvested information about officer bearers of the parties and got lead contacts about eminent names,” shared a top cop.
Further probe led the police to his erstwhile office “Brand and Associates” at Sanjay Towers in Prahlad Nagar. Patel was employed here in 2001.
“While his claims are magnified no doubt, there is some truth. For instance, in 2019, he did manage the launch program for “Chalo India” in Delhi. In 2022, he was among the co-handlers for the G-20 event at Hotel Hyatt in Ahmedabad,” added sources.
At the eye of the matter currently is the case of the Shilaj bungalow. “Patel introduced himself as a property broker. Jagdish Chavda (63) is the brother of BJP leader Jawahar Chavda. The bungalow in Shilaj is estimated to be about Rs 15 crore. The conman met Jagdish and his wife in February 2022 and assured them of a higher price, provided the bungalow could be reworked according to Vaastu. The gullible couple agreed on moving out to facilitate the renovation, for which they paid Rs 35 lakhs,” added police officials investigating the case.
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The couple relocated to their native place in Junagadh. “Work began under the supervision of interior designer Zubin Patel. However, on return they found that Patel had put his nameplate outside the bungalow and even performed a vaastu poojan. When confronted by Chavda, he said that he would buy the bungalow once his payment was released from a pending work for the Adani Group,” the now registered FIR records.
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Interestingly, in August 2022 Chavda was served a notice from the Ahmedabad Rural District Court stating that Kiran Patel had filed a suit for possession of the bungalow. Despite his complaint, Chavda maintains no FIR was lodged then.
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