A Srinagar court granted bail to alleged conman Kiran Bhai Patel, who posed as a senior official from the prime minister’s office, noting that the police removed an offence that carried life imprisonment from the chargesheet, reported The Indian Express on Thursday.

The court said that Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with forgery of a valuable security or will, was dropped “on the basis of non-existing material”.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested Patel on March 3 for allegedly impersonating an additional director for strategy and campaigns in the prime minister’s office. The authorities said that he got facilities normally given to officials from the prime minister’s office, including a bulletproof car, security personnel and official accommodation at a five-star hotel in Jammu and Kashmir.

On March 23, the chief judicial magistrate, Srinagar, Raja Mohammad Tasleem had denied him bail. The judge had observed that he had prima facie forged some documents to deceive not just one person but an “extremely elevated class of the society including high officials of the civil administration and police authorities”.

However, on Tuesday, the court noted that “it is spectacularly evident from the perusal of the chargesheet that offence under section 467 IPC [Indian Penal Code], which carries punishment for life, has been deleted by the investigating agency”.

The offence under Section 467 was an important reason why the court had denied Patel bail in March.

“After deleting offence under section 467, the rest of the offence shown to have been committed by the accused persons carries punishment only up to 7 years,” the court said, according to The Indian Express.

Patel has been booked under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 170 (personating a public servant), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

The alleged conman, along with co-accused Piyush Vasita, has been granted interim bail till October 30.