The court of judicial magistrate first-class (JMFC) Suchitra Ghodke sentenced brother-sister duo to 21-year rigorous imprisonment for stealing,forging and misusing letterheads from former PM I K Gujrals office in 1997.
Prabhavati B Parkhi (55) and cousin Jagannath D Parkhi (62),both former employees of the telecom department in Pune and residents of Wireless Quarters,Pashan Road were also fined Rs 60,000 each. C Phungson,the then joint secretary to the PM had lodged a complaint. The CBI had registered a complaint on December 22,1997.
Special public prosecutor advocate Mohan Deshmukh stated that Jagannath Parkhi had filed more than 500 applications in court to prolong the case,because of which it took 14 years to convict them. Deshmukh examined eight witnesses.
According to the prosecution,Prabhawati was a telegraph assistant in Central Telegraph Office (CTO) resigned on February 12,1985. Later,she changed her mind and wanted her reinstatement and moved the Telcom authorities in Pune on February 20,1985 and May 4,1992. Her request was turned down on May 20,1992. Prabhawati subsequently filed a petition before Central Tribunal Authority,Mumbai,on July 13,1996,which was dismissed on May 30,1996,upholding the decision of the Telecom department.
The CBI chargesheet filed in 1999 reads,Jagannath stole a letterhead bearing the then PM I K Gujrals name. On July 24,1997,he prepared a fake reference letter on the stolen letterhead stating his sister Prabhawati be reinstated. He addressed it to C V Rajan,the then chief general manager (CGM),Telecom (Maharashtra Circle),Mumbai. A copy of the letter was also marked to the then opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee,Congress leader in Lok Sabha Sharad Pawar and MP Madan Patil.
According to the chargesheet,on August 21,1997 Jagannath met CGM Rajan and inquired about Prabhawati’s reinstatement and told him about the letter. After Rajan referred the matter to H Sundareshan,the then Principal General Manager (PGM),he had asked for a copy of the letter. In pursuance of the same,the said forged letter alongwith envelope of Prime Minister’s Office were produced by Jagannath in the Office of General Manager (Development),Telecom,Pune for faxing it to the Office of CGM,Mumbai,on August 27,1997.
On September 9,1997,Jagannath met the PGM who doubted the authenticity of the letter and sent a copy to the PMO for verification. On Nov 1,1997 Vikram Misri,the then Private Secretary to the PM wrote to the PGM confirming it was forged.