The Kandivali police have successfully dismantled a gang from Uttar Pradesh (UP) involved in the sale of counterfeit birth certificates, priced at Rs 300 each. The case started unravelling when discrepancies were discovered in the passport application of a duo from Kandivli. The arrested accused are Bablu Kumar Pasi, Tayyb Zaki Ahmed, and Surya Pratap Singh, who is the mastermind who fabricated the certificates. The trio has been remanded in police custody.

Kandivli residents Mohammad Kaif Insaafali Siddiqui and Nayab Sajid had applied for passports. Both had submitted the birth certificates of their parents—as mandated by the government for people born after 2004—but passport Constable Sandeep Mhatre noticed discrepancies. An inspection led to further doubts and a letter was sent to the concerned authority in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh.

A report from the UP health department confirmed that both birth certificates were fake. Subsequently, legal action was initiated against Mohammad and Naib. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajay Kumar Bansal and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shailendra Dhiwar assigned the probe to a team led by Senior Police Inspector (PI) Sandeep Vishwas Rao. The team included PI Sadashiv Sawant, Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) Deepak Patil, and other staff members.

Cops travelled to UP

“The passports were procured from agents Pasi and Ahmed in UP. This lead prompted us to travel to UP, where the duo was apprehended. Singh’s involvement came to light during the interrogation and he, too, was arrested in Salon taluka of Raebareli district,” said an officer from Kandivali police.

Singh, the principal facilitator, operated a studio where he made fake certificates using a laptop and colour printer. A graduate, he used to reside in Delhi and moved to Salon during the Covid-19 pandemic. He started the ‘Seva Kendra’ studio and started creating fake birth certificates for needy individuals. Initially, he worked through intermediaries, charging a commission, but later began providing the service directly.

“The seized laptop and colour printer led to the arrest of the trio under various chargers. They were produced before the court and are now in police custody,” said the officer.

Effect of changed norms

Given the recent changes in passport registration requirements, the government has made it mandatory for individuals born after 2004 to provide their birth certificate and that of one parent (birth certificate or leaving certificate showing place of birth). This shift has increased the volume of fake documents procured by people from their native villages.

“Over the past couple of months, more than 20 FIRs related to fake birth certificates have been registered in the city, highlighting the prevalence of this issue. Zone XI has seen around seven such cases at its police stations including Malvani, Kandivli, and Malad,” DCP Bansal said.

Rs 300
Amount accused charge per certificate

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