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AMIT RASHTOGI & OTHERS versus STATE OF U.P.

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Amit Rashtogi & Others v. State Of U.P. - CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 4733 of 2003 [2007] RD-AH 14115 (17 August 2007)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

(Court No. 46)

ORDER ON THE ORDER SHEET

IN

CRL. APPEAL NO. 4733 OF 2003

Amit Rashtogi and others......Vs......State of U.P.

Hon'ble Amar Saran, J.

Heard Sri Rahul Srivastava, learned A.G.A. and Sri D.K. Singh, Joint Registrar (Inspections).

A supplementary affidavit dated 16.8.2007 sworn by Dr. Anil Mishra, Dy. S.P. (Legal Cell), D.G. Police Headquarters, Lucknow,  report of the C.B.I. dated 10.8.2007, minutes of the meeting of the High level Committee headed by the R.G. Allahabad High Court dated 30.7.2007, report of the C.O. City II, Allahabad dated 17.8.2007 and report of Investigation submitted by Sri Rajeshwar Singh C.O. Mahanagar Lucknow, have been filed. They are taken on record.  

The supplementary affidavit filed by the Dy. S.P. (Legal Cell) dated 16.8.2007 shows that in pursuance of this Court's order dated 18.7.2007 regarding progress of steps taken for arrest of the kingpin Sri Ram Maurya who had absconded from judicial custody in Lucknow, it is mentioned that A.D.G. Law and Order passed an order dated 25.7.2007 directing D.I.G. (Public Grievance) to take suitable action. D.I.G. (Public Grievance) directed D.I.G. Allahabad and Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad with a copy to Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, to send progress report regarding arrest of Sri Ram Maurya. I am not satisfied that by mere writing of letters on this essential task of arresting the main accused, who appears to be the gang leader, and principal draftsman of forged bail orders and has escaped from custody, sufficient steps have been taken for securing his arrest. What steps have been taken by the concerned police officials to arrest this accused after the Court's order dated 18.7.07 have not been specified. Whether his photograph was published in newspapers and flashed on television. What are the places visited by the police officers to arrest Sri Ram Maurya, all of which could have reflected the sincerity of the police in arresting this hardened criminal are missing. We hope that by the next date of listing Sri Ram Maurya will have actually been arrested and this Court will not be constrained to summon the A.D.G. Law and Order or to pass strictures against the concerned officers for not taking adequate steps for securing the arrest of this accused.

The letter of the C.B.I. dated 10.8.07 shows that 5 cases were traced from the records of the Hon'ble High Court. These are very old cases, which are more than 7 or 8 years old and it does not appear that in any of the cases the accused have been arrested. In some cases even the investigations are pending and in other cases trials are pending. This shows the non-seriousness and lackadaisical approach of the C.B.I. which is supposed to be a premier investigating agency in tackling in this issue of taking steps for arresting the accused and proceeding expeditiously with the investigations and trials in the limited number of cases relating to the vital matter of forged High Court orders where investigations were transferred to it. I hope that by the next date of listing, the accused will have been arrested and progress made for completing the investigations which are pending with the CBI and for getting the trials expeditiously disposed of and that this Court will not require to summon the Senior Officers of the C.B.I. for explaining their lapse.

The second progress report dated 17.8.2007 written by Sri Rajesh Kumar, C.O. II, Allahabad shows that the alleged offences relating to case Crime No. 656 of 2006 and 150 of 2007 where the name of Sri G.S. Hajela, counsel for the C.B.I. has unfortunately figured as an accused, could not be investigated by the C.O. because the S.S.P., Allahabad has refused permission on his applications dated 16.7.2007 and 16.8.2007 to visit Badaun and Shahjahanpur. I think this is a very serious matter as the integrity of an officer of this Court viz.. Sri G.S. Hajela, Advocate, who is also the counsel for the CBI has come under a cloud. It is important that the true facts of this case are brought to light, and in case Sri Hajela's is involvement is not found in the investigation his name is swiftly cleared.  In case, the S.S.P. Allahabad feels that the C.O. II, Allahabad, is needed for important law and order duties here, he may entrust this task of investigating into the aforesaid crime numbers some other officer such as C.O. Daragranj, or any other officer that the SSP may consider competent to investigate into this sensitive matter. We hope requests by the concerned officer to visit the outside places for contacting the witnesses or accused in the said offences shall not be refused to the said officer.

The minutes of the meeting of the High Level committee for monitoring of High Court forged orders held in the Registrar General's chamber on 21.7.2007 have been produced. In this regard I note that  Mrs. Niharika Dhusia, C.O. (City V), is shown as representative of on behalf of S.S.P. Allahabad. Probably the new SSP is unaware of the direction of this Court dated 15.5.2006, wherein I had directed that the S.S.P. Allahabad or his representative not below the rank of S.P. City should be the member of the High Level Monitoring  Committee. I hope that in the next meeting the S.S.P. himself or some  senior officer of the aforesaid rank will attend the meeting of the High level monitoring committee in place of C.O. (City V), Allahabad.

It was further prayed by learned AGA that so far as the case at Serial No. 56 (11) was concerned, in which there was a preliminary report of the CB CID that there was some complicity of some officials of the Registry of the High Court. An order dated 3.11.2006 had already been passed for lodging an F.I.R. by this Court against the said officials and for their arrests if needed. Time is now being sought for by the committee about the propriety of lodging the FIR because it is being contended by the offending registry officials that this matter requires sanction under section 195 Cr.P.C and the committee was considering whether the F.I.R. could be directly lodged against the said accused or whether a complaint would be needed in view of Section 195 Cr. P. C.

In my view, there is no fetter on the power of investigation and arrest by the police in cases involving forged orders and under Section 467 and 468 IPC. Only at the stage when cognizance is to be taken by the trial court do questions relating to section 195 Cr.P.C arise. In any it was easy for the Registrar General after a preliminary enquiry to have referred the matter for investigation. In offences involving forging of orders where the primary duty of maintaining the Court record lies with the officer concerned, and without whose collusion tampering or forgery of the record is not likely, if on such hyper-technical pleas  investigations and arrests of officials against whom prima facie material is available, can be scuttled,, it may result in erosion in public confidence with the system of administration of justice. It may be noted that the High Court is the pivot and epicentre from where orders emanate and if this Centre itself gets polluted, there will be little hope for justice for the wider society. Therefore, I think that the Committee should pass appropriate orders for getting the case investigated against these officials and also beneficiaries of the orders, who may be interrogated for finding out about the complicity of the concerned officers and others who may be involved in this crime of forged orders.  

The progress report of C.O. Sri Rajeshwar Singh the I.O. of Case Crime No. 151 of 2005 dated 16.8.2007 shows that he has successfully submitted the charge sheet against 11 persons. This is the only success story, in this otherwise sorry saga and the efforts of Sri Rajeshwar Singh and HC Ram Raj Singh and other persons who have successfully brought about the investigation of this case to fruition by submitting charge sheets against 11 accused, including 8 accused who have been arrested 8 persons and three accused against whom coercive proceedings for arrests have been initiated and charge sheets submitted as absconders should be unstintingly commended. I also think that the C.B.I., C.B.C.I.D. and other Investigating Officers of the local Police who are investigating the other matters and have not effected a single arrest in the 18 months or so since this case is being monitored should take an example from this investigating team, and redouble efforts to compete investigations and to effect arrests in the cases relating to forged orders being investigated by them so that a clear message is sent out that this Court will not tolerate forgeries of its  orders and will come down with a heavy hand on all and sundry who may be involved in this heinous crime which threatens to cause disruption of our legal system. I also think that the D.G. C.B.C.I.D., who was appointed as  Nodal Officer by an earlier order should now ensure that by the next date of listing the accused against whom prima facie cases were disclosed in the investigation by the C.B.C.I.D. should be arrested before the next date of listing and expeditious steps taken for conclusion of investigations and trials of the said accused. Likewise, the same direction shall apply to D.G. Law and Order in respect of cases that are being investigated by the Local police as as has been mentioned to the D.G. C.B.C.I.D, so that this Court will not need to summon these officers to seek their explanations for non-compliance with this order.

List this case for further orders and for submission of compliance reports of the concerned officers on 14.9.2007.

Let  a copy of this order be issued to the learned A.G.A. within 72  hours.

Dated: 17.8.2007

HSM


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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