Calcutta, April 22: Abdul Karim Telgi was faking judicial stamp papers, now even court orders are being forged.
A Calcutta High Court judge today called in the Criminal Investigation Department to investigate a case in which not only an order but the assistant registrar’s stamp and seal have been fabricated.
“I did not pass this order,” said an angry judge Suvra Kamal Mukherjee, “it’s a forged document.” Justice Mukherjee handed over the case to C.V. Muralidharan, the deputy inspector-general of the CID.
“We need to take stern and immediate action to stem the rot,” said Chief Justice A.K. Mathur when the case was brought to his notice.
The placing of a copy of an order, purportedly passed by Justice Mukherjee, before him yesterday led the judge to summon the CID.
High court sources said the manager of State Bank of India’s Galsi branch in Burdwan had received a letter from an advocate named Ashok Kumar Pal on April 7. Written on a printed pad, the letter said that Justice Mukherjee had passed an ex parte order on April 2 asking the manager not to execute a notice he had served on a farmer.
Prasanta Pal and his two brothers had been granted a Rs 2.66 lakh loan by the bank in 1997 to purchase a tractor under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana scheme. When they failed to repay, the manager served a notice on them on March 22 this year, with an ultimatum to seize the tractor and their land.
Prasanta filed a writ in the high court on the grounds that the scheme had provision for exemption of repayment if a farmer was economically handicapped.
That a writ had been filed was unknown to the bank officials till the letter from the high court advocate arrived on April 7. Attached with the letter was a copy of the order passed by Justice Mukherjee. The copy was signed and stamped by the assistant registrar of Calcutta High Court.
Surprised by the suddenness of the whole affair, the bank sent senior officers to Justice Mukherjee’s court yesterday and placed the letter and the enclosures before him. Going through the documents, the amazed judge exclaimed: “I did not pass this order — this is a forged document!”
Initial inquiries have revealed that no advocate by the name of Ashok Kumar Pal exists in the Calcutta Bar and the signature and stamp of the assistant registrar had been forged.
As the news went around, several cases of forgery came to light. About four months ago, a candidate for a clerk’s post in the government had procured a forged court order allowing him to appear for the qualifying examination. He had not met certain criteria. But the order not only enabled him to take the exam, it also ended up in his appointment.
About a year ago, a criminal arrested in Nabadwip was released on bail on the basis of a forged high court order and papers. The public prosecutor detected this much later, by which time the criminal had already expired.