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Www.indianexpress.com Story-print 887225

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Forged signatures: 5 ex-GCCI members summoned by court
Express News Service Posted online: Tue Dec 13 2011, 03:36 hrs

Ahmedabad : Finding a ‘prima facie’ case of forgery and criminal conspiracy, the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court has issued summons to five former senior office-bearers of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI). The five have been accused of forging signatures of at least eight industrialists in an extraordinary general board meeting of GCCI in March 2009 in which some important changes were made to the Constitution of the Chamber. The five — identified as Rupesh Shah, former GCCI president; Samir Patel, former vice-president; Ashish Guru, former secretary; Bipin Patel, former senior deputy secretary general; and Gita Joshi, former deputy secretary — have been summoned on December 30 by the court of Metropolitan Magistrate P T Patel. The order came in the wake of a complaint lodged by one Pravin Patel on September 9, 2009. He has accused the five of forging signatures of at least eight industrialists — who are also members of GCCI — in the said meeting in which certain important changes related to the Constitution of GCCI were passed with majority. Patel alleged that a total of 168 members of GCCI were shown present in the meeting and 166 of them voted in favour of the changes to the Constitution of the Chamber. According to him, the five members in question had forged signatures of the members who were not present in the meeting, in order to pass the changes to the Constitution with an intention to get their cronies in the GCCI. Following the complaint, the court had ordered an inquiry under the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code. During the inquiry, two of the eight persons whose signatures are alleged to have been forged — Paru Jaikrishna and Natu Patel — deposed before the court and testified that they were not present in the meeting of March 31, 2009 and that the signatures shown in the records of GCCI on that day are not theirs. Similarly, five other industrialists, which included Pankaj Patel, Jayanti Patel, Sudhir Mehta, Pranav Adani and Sanjay Lalbhai, filed their affidavits before the court, saying they were not present in that meeting and that their signatures in the minutes book were forged.

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