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Man sentenced for forging Vijaylakshmi Pandit's sign
October 23, 2004 20:40 IST
A man forged the late Vijayalakshmi Pandit's signature on a letter, gained entry into Rashtrapati Bhavan and 'deceived' then President R Venkataraman 16 years ago. A court in New Delhi, which had convicted Puran Chand Pathak of the offence, slapped a two-year suspended sentence on him on Saturday.
''It has been categorically proved that the President was deceived into doing something that he otherwise would not have done,'' Metropolitan Magistrate Sidharth Sharma said while sentencing Pathak, 40, hailing from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
The court, considering the time lapse, granted a two-year probation to the convict. He was directed to furnish a probation bond.
Pathak, according to the case registered at the Chanakyapuri police station, had sought an appointment with Venkataraman on November 4, 1988, to discuss the contents of a letter, which he claimed was signed by Pandit.
However, he did not get appointment. On November 11, 1988, he wrote again to the President. Venkataraman gave him an audience and endorsed a letter requesting the President to recommend Pathak for a social work program in which he could make a name.
However, Rashtrapati Bhavan had doubts about the letter and crosschecked with Pandit.
She denied knowing the man or having signed the letter.
The matter was referred to the lieutenant governor, who directed the police to register a case against Pathak.
More reports from Delhi
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