The Pune cantonment court on Tuesday remanded 18 employees of a private contractor of the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB), who were arrested on Monday for allegedly issuing fake receipts and over-charging entry tax from commercial vehicles passing through the cantonment, to police custody till October 1.
Seeking seven days of police custody for the suspects, assistant public prosecutor Rajani Naik told the court that custodial interrogation of the suspects was required as three bags of fake receipt books have been recovered from them. The suspects had printed receipts of Rs 165 and Rs 220 for collecting tax instead of the PCB norms of Rs 20 from heavy vehicles and Rs 15 from small vehicles, she added.
The police have recovered the monthly pass register, four driving licences and a copy of the agreement between the contractor and the PCB, Naik said, and prayed to give sufficient time to the police to find out where the fake receipt books were printed.
The prosecutor also sought time to arrest the contractor and to find out where he had invested the extortion amount collected from the vehicles.
Defence lawyers N D Patil, Pandit Dhumal and Vijay Thombare argued that custodial interrogation of the suspects was not required as they had acted as per the direction of the contractor and they had no role in the crime.
The lawyers submitted that their clients had not breached the contract and that the PCB had permitted them to print receipt books and hence their clients cannot be charged with issuing fake receipts. But the prosecutor argued that they had printed some sections of the Cantonments Act, 2006 on the receipt books without any authority and hence they have committed forgery.
The court upheld the prosecution's plea and send the suspects to police custody for three days.
The suspects are Arvindsingh Rathodradhi (22), Hemant Joshi (32), Vishnu Rajput (19), Avtarsingh Bidra (18), Dharmendra Kalwani (23), Girishchandra Rai (45), Parvinder Rathod (19), Mohitkumar Singh (21),Vickey Lalwani (25), Sachin Dhawale (28), Amol Indapurkar (28), Sanjay Nikal (48), Dinesh alias Sonu Karamchandani (35), Raju Joshi (30), Hemant Singh (47), Vijay Jadhav (36), Lal Vaswani (33) and Dattatraya Rajguru (18).
Assistant inspector Krantikumar Patil of the anti-extortion cell of the crime branch produced the suspects before judicial magistrate first class A M Patankar.