Case Against BJP’s Somaiya, His Son for Alleged Misappropriation of Funds Collected for INS Vikrant


Mumbai police have registered a case of cheating against BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and his son Neil for alleged misappropriation of over Rs 57 crore funds collected to save aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, an official said on Thursday.

The case against them was filed based on a complaint lodged by a 53-year-old former Army personnel on Wednesday evening at the Trombay police station in suburban Mankhurd, he said.

Commissioned in 1961, INS Vikrant, a Majestic-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, had played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. It was decommissioned in 1997.

In January 2014, the ship was sold through an online auction and scrapped in November that year. The complainant said that Somaiya had started a campaign to raise funds for INS Vikrant. He said that he had given donations to Somaiya for saving the ship and the BJP leader had collected more than Rs 57 crore for the purpose. However, instead of depositing the amount to the Maharashtra governor’s secretary office, he misappropriated the funds.

Local Shiv Sena leaders had met the police authorities along with the complainant on Wednesday to raise the issue. Based on the complaint, a case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) was registered against Kirit Somaiya, his son Neil and others, the police official said.

On Wednesday, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had also accussed Kirit Somaiya of siphoning off Rs 57 crore collected from people as donations to save INS Vikrant. Rejecting the allegation, Somaiya had said that if Raut has any evidence, he should hand it over to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

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