The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday granted a stay on the arrest of Yoga guru Ramdev’s close aide Acharya Balkrishna,who has been charged by the CBI for procuring fake educational degrees and using them for getting a passport.
Hearing a petition,a single-member Bench of the High Court headed by Justice Tarun Agrawal also asked the CBI to file a reply on the petition before it in a three weeks time,said Rajendra Dobhal,counsel of Balkrishna.
The court also asked Balkrishna to co-operate with the CBI in investigations against him and also to appear before the investigating agency on August 3.
The petition for stay on arrest of Balkrishna was earlier put before Justice P C Pant on Thursday. He,however,recused himself from hearing the petition and referred it to Chief Justice Barin Ghosh.
Balkrishna,who is charged with procuring fake educational degrees and using them for getting a passport,was summoned by the CBI to appear in its office on Thursday for interrogation. There were reports that he might be arrested by the investigating agency.
Instead of appearing before the CBI,Balkrishna had on Thursday sent a fax to the agency seeking 20-days’ time to appear stating that his passport is with the British High Commission.
The agency,however,turned down his plea and asked him to appear without the passport on Friday.
In his fax sent yesterday,Balkrishna said he was also consulting Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani and pleaded that any other date after 20 days may be given to him.
Balkrishna had gone missing from his Divya Yog Mandir Ashram residence at Haridwar on July 25,a day after the CBI registered a case against him for cheating and criminal conspiracy for procuring fake degree. A case against him is registered under section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC for procuring fake degree and for violating section 12 of the Indian Passport Act for furnishing fake documents to get a passport (knowingly furnishing false documents for getting passport).
Balkrishna’s two degrees ‘Purv Madhyma’,a high school degree issued in 1991,and ‘Shastri’,a Sanskrit degree in 1996,don’t figure in the University’s records,Registrar of Sampurna Nand Sanskrit University,which issued the degrees,Rajnish Shukla had said.
The agency had also written to the Ministry of External Affairs for revoking his passport.
On the other hand,Baba Ramdev in a press conference at Haridwar Thursday evening claimed that Balkrishna’s degrees are genuine and that he is in Patanjali ashram itself.