14 August 2010
The special court in Pune on Friday remanded Joginder Singh Bhasin, the managing trustee of Preet Mandir, in judicial custody. Additional sessions judge J D Kulkarni passed the order.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested 71-year-old Bhasin on Monday in Belapur, Navi Mumbai, in connection with the adoption racket. Bhasin was booked under charges of forgery, cheating, kidnapping and misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 25.7 lakh. The court had remanded him in police custody till Friday.
The CBI produced Bhasin at the special court on Friday. CBI’s lawyer Vivek Saxena told the court that investigations are on in the case and it was revealed that money from Preet Mandir’s bank account was used to buy a diamond necklace worth Rs 1.25 lakh from a jewellery shop in Delhi on August 16, 2004. Saxena said some hotel bills were also paid from Preet Mandir’s account.
Saxena told the court that CBI is also probing the transfer of 42 children from Navrang Balakashram in Pandharpur to Preet Mandir in 2009. Meanwhile, Bhasin’s counsel Shrikant Shivade sought his interim bail on medical grounds. Shivade told the court that Bhasin should get bail for medical treatment and that he would co-operate with the investigation. The court said that the hearing on Bhasin’s bail application will take place on August 16.
The CBI had earlier submitted to the court that the parents had given temporary custody of their children to Preet Mandir due to their compelling domestic and financial condition. However, the parents were asked to sign a permanent relinquishment deed of their children fraudulently without their knowledge.
The CBI had submitted that Preet Mandir produced fake and bogus non-acceptance slips, adoption coordination clearance, no-objection certificate from Central Adoption Resources Agency (CARA). Bhasin had allegedly sent one Namrata for inter country adoption without ACA clearance with unidentified CARA officials abusing their official position to issue an NoC.
There have allegedly been 70 instances of illegal adoption between 2002 and 2005, in which he charged money in excess of Rs 50,000 from adoptive parents. He also alleged that Bhasin has misappropriated the orphanage fund for his own use to the tune of Rs 25,70,016 between 2002 and 2007.