Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Allahabad High Court rejects anticipatory bail to sacked assistant teacher with fake marksheet

The first anticipatory bail application being Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application (Hemanth Kumar Vs. State of U.P. and 2 others) was rejected by Justice Vivek Agarwal, order dated June 15, 2021.

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected anticipatory bail to Hemant Kumar Saraswat, a sacked assistant teacher who got his job using a fake B Ed marksheet.

A single-judge bench of Justice Samit Gopal passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application under Section 438 CrPC filed by Hemant Kumar @ Hemant Kumar Saraswat.

The second anticipatory bail application under Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 has been filed by the applicant Hemant Kumar @ Hemant Kumar Saraswat, seeking anticipatory bail, in the event of arrest in Case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC, Police Station Manth, District Mathura.

The first anticipatory bail application being Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application (Hemanth Kumar Vs. State of U.P. and 2 others) was rejected by Justice Vivek Agarwal, order dated June 15, 2021.

Counsel for the applicant argued that the applicant was appointed as Assistant Teacher in Junior Basic School during the period 2008-2011 after obtaining his B.Ed Degree during the Session 2004-05 from Dr B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra. He joined his services on December 29, 2010 and continued to work there for about 10 years after which his services were terminated.

It was alleged that the B.Ed mark-sheet and degree which was one of the required qualifications for the appointment was found to be forged and as such the First Information Report has been lodged.

Counsel for the applicant has further argued that the controversy with regards to the B.Ed. mark-sheet and degree of Agra University for the year 2004-05 was the subject matter of a writ petition which was converted into a Public Interest Litigation (Sunil Kumar Vs. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University and another) in which the matter was directed to be investigated by a Special Investigating Team which submitted its report on August 14, 2017 alleging therein that there were around 3500 mark-sheets/degree from which about 1000 mark-sheets/degree had been tampered.

It is argued that the termination of the applicant order dated December 18, 2019 was challenged before the Court (Hemant Kumar Saraswat Vs. State of U.P. and 4 others).

Counsel for the applicant argued that the applicant is one of the appellants before the Apex Court and he is the petitioner in the array of petitioners therein. The contempt petition was ordered to be closed on October 01, 2021, in view of the statement made in the matter on behalf of the State that they are ready and willing to pay the current salary to the petitioners from the date of passing of the order.

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Counsel for the applicant said that in identical matters, other teachers have been granted anticipatory bail/interim anticipatory bail by coordinate Benches of the Court. The order of the Apex Court has been considered in some of the matters and anticipatory bail has been granted to them.

Additional Government Advocate appearing for the State of U.P have argued that the first anticipatory bail application of the applicant was rejected by a detailed order on merits.

It is argued that even the ground of parity with some of the persons being Lokendra Pal Singh and 17 others was considered by the said court.

It is further argued that the applicant is not cooperating in the investigation at all. He has been called upon to provide the documents but he has till date not provided any document which would let the investigation proceed.

It is also argued that left with no other option the Investigating Officer has moved various applications before the concerned trial court for issuance of non bailable warrant against the applicant but no order has been passed till date by the said court.

Additional Government Advocate said that due to non cooperation of the applicant, the investigation in the matter is pending. The applicant is not even responding to the call of the Investigating Officer to provide the documents to him which would let the investigation proceed and conclude.

Anticipatory bail being an extraordinary remedy, should be resorted to only in a special case. The case prima facie indicates involvement of the applicant in the offense-in-question as he was the beneficiary by making use of the forged mark-sheet/degree. The applicant has not established any special circumstance. No reason is found to falsely implicate the applicant, the Court observed.

Also Read: Allahabad HC acquits all convicts in Mathura triple murder case, flays shoddy probe

The Court held that,

It is a settled principle of law that departmental and criminal proceedings are distinct and have different standards of proof. The two proceedings, criminal and departmental, are entirely different. They operate in different fields and have different objectives. The issue drawing attention of the Apex Court is with regards to the termination of the applicant. The First Information Report is with regards to the filing of the forged document being the B.Ed mark-sheet/degree on the basis of which employment was sought and was given. The matter of termination and lodging of the First Information Report / the investigation / trial if any, are altogether two different proceedings and are not in any manner linked with each other.

By the act of the applicant seeking appointment on the basis of a forged mark-sheet/degree, one deserving candidate has lost his seat and chance of appointment and it may be a lifelong loss for many reasons like crossing the bracket of prescribed age and many other factors.

“After having heard counsels for the parties and perusing the records, it is evident that the first anticipatory bail application of the applicant was rejected on June 15, 2021 on merits. In so far as, the orders of the other persons who have been granted anticipatory bail/interim anticipatory bail, the same are not binding on this Court. While rejecting the first anticipatory bail application, the Court was of the opinion that during investigation even at times custodial interrogation may be necessary to reach the roots of the crime, the same cannot be overlooked. Therefore, looking into the gravity of the offense, nature of offense and the legal position enumerated above, this Court is of the view that the anticipatory bail application has no merit and is liable to be rejected,”

-the Court said while rejecting the anticipatory bail application.

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