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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Mumbai: No pre-arrest bail for dentist wanted in 9 illegal Covid vaccination drives

Tripathi is one of the six accused whose name has cropped up in the nine vaccination drives at Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Andheri, Khar, Parel and Naupada in Thane, which were termed “bogus” by the Mumbai Police.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: June 29, 2021 1:05:35 am
fake vaccination drive mumbaiThe Kandivali case pertains to the May 30 Covid vaccination drive at Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali (west) where 390 members of the society were inoculated. (Representative Image)

THE DINDOSHI sessions court Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Dr Manish Tripathi (26), a dentist wanted in connection with a “bogus” vaccination drive case registered at the Kandivali police station.

Tripathi is one of the six accused whose name has cropped up in the nine vaccination drives at Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Andheri, Khar, Parel and Naupada in Thane, which were termed “bogus” by the Mumbai Police. The drives were conducted between May 25 and June 6. Eight persons arrested in the cases, so far, are in police custody till June 30.

The Kandivali case pertains to the May 30 Covid vaccination drive at Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali (west) where 390 members of the society were inoculated. A society member had raised an alarm when forged certificates were received, following which a case was lodged.

Tripathi’s lawyer Adil Khatri said, “Soon after the anticipatory bail application was rejected, I made an application before the sessions court that my client wants to surrender. The court asked him to surrender before the Kandivali police station. My client will surrender before them as soon as possible.”

Tripathi had taken a portion of the Shivam Hospital premises on rent and ran a nursing home from there. In his bail plea, Tripathi claimed, the Kandivali Police were making him a “scapegoat” and the “real culprits” were the Shivam hospital’s Shivraj Pataria (61) and his wife Nita Pataria (60).

Before her arrest last week, Nita Pataria had told The Indian Express, “The Shivam Hospital had rented out a shop outside it to Tripathi a few months back. We are officially a Covid hospital, hence going out for a private vaccination drive doesn’t arise nor we, or any of our staff members, have ever participated in any of such private vaccination drive. We are cooperating with the police investigation and have no role in such illegal activities.” She also claimed they were not connected to Tripathi and had only rented out a shop to him.

Apart from Tripathi, five others — Mahendra Singh (39), a former clerk at Malad medical association and an organiser; Sanjay Gupta (29), an event manager; Karim Akbar Ali (19), a student involved in transporting the vaccines; Shivraj Pataria and his wife Nita — are said to be involved in all nine drives and are presently in the custody of Kandivali police.

Three other people — Chandan Singh alias Lalit, Nitin Mode, and Gudiya Yadav, who worked for the private hospital and a Covid care centre — have also been arrested in the case for misusing the login details of CoWin app to issue forged certificates.

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