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Allahabad High Court announces five-year sentence to former MLA in fake marksheet case

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has not given any relief to Indra Pratap Tiwari alias Khabbu Tiwari, former MLA of Gosaiganj assembly constituency of Ayodhya in the fake mark sheet case. 

His five-year sentence has been upheld by the High Court.

A Single Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeals filed by Indra Pratap Tiwari,  Kripa Nidhan Tiwari and Phool Chandra Yadav.

The three appeals under Section 374(2) CrPC have been instituted against the common judgement and order dated 18.10.2021 passed by the Special Judge (MP/MLA)/Additional Sessions Judge, Faizabad in Special Case, arising out of Case Police Station Ram Janam Bhumi, District Faizabad, whereby the trial court has convicted and sentenced the accused-appellants as under:-

U/s 420 IPC three years imprisonment and fine of Rs 6,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, eighteen days additional simple imprisonment; and

U/s 468 I.P.C five years imprisonment and fine of Rs 8,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, twenty days additional simple imprisonment.

U/s 471 I.P.C two years imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000/- each and in default of payment of fine, fifteen days additional simple imprisonment.

The prosecution case is that the Principal of K.S Saket Postgraduate College, Faizabad, Yaduvansh Ram Tripathi gave a complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad on 16.2.1992 alleging that in his previous letter dated 14.2.1992 in respect of the accused-appellants, he informed that they had taken admission on the basis of the forged mark-sheets.

It was alleged that accused-appellant Phool Chandra Yadav S/o Tilakdhari Yadav had failed in B.Sc Part-I examination in 1986 and despite writing back papers, he could not clear the examination of the B.Sc Part-I and, therefore, he was not eligible to take admission in B.Sc Part-II, but by forging the mark-sheet and fabricating the documents in criminal conspiracy, he had obtained a forged marksheet of clearing B.Sc Part-I.

Copy of the result of back paper of 1986 examination, of which the accused Phool Chandra Yadav had fabricated his marks to declare himself passed.

On the basis of this forged and fabricated mark-sheet, he got admission in B.Sc Part-II for the academic session 1986-87, and the then Principal of the College had approved the admission form of the said accused-appellant.

Accused-appellant, Indra Pratap Tiwari had appeared in B.Sc Part-II examination in the year 1990 as ex-student. He failed in the said examination. Despite having failed in B.SC PartII examination, the accused-appellant, Indra Pratap Tiwari submitted a forged mark-sheet allegedly issued by the University dated 8.12.1990 and took admission in B.Sc Part-III for the academic session 1990-91.

He was given a show cause notice by the College, but no reply was given to the said notice and, thereafter, his admission in B.Sc Part-III was cancelled and his election to the post of Secretary of the student union was also declared as illegal.

In the said letter, it was further alleged that the accused-appellant, Kripa Nidhan Tiwari had given examination of LLB Part-I in the year 1989, but he was unsuccessful. Despite having failed in LLB Part-I examination, on the basis of the forged mark-sheet allegedly issued by the University, took admission in LLB Part-II for the academic session 1989-90 on 11.3.1991. Copy of the forged mark-sheet and the admission form were annexed with the letter. When the Principal got to know about this forgery, he gave a show cause notice to Kripa Nidhan Tiwari, but he did not give any reply to the said notice and, thereafter, his admission in LLB Part-II was cancelled.

On the basis of the above-mentioned facts, the Principal requested the Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad to take appropriate legal action against these three accused-appellants, who had taken admission on the basis of the forged and fabricated mark-sheets/documents and played fraud with the college administration and the University.

In this letter, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad on 18.2.1992 directed the Station House Officer, Police Station Ram Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya to register a case and investigate the offence.

In pursuance to the said direction, FIR at Case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC against the three accused appellant came to be registered at Police Station Ram Janam Bhumi, Ayodhya.

The Investigating Officer after completing the investigation, filed the charge sheet against the three accused-appellants under Sections 468, 471 and 420 IPC on 19.7.1996. After taking cognizance, the accused-appellants were summoned on 4.9.1996.

After the evidence of the prosecution got over, statements of the accused-appellants under Section 313 Cr.P.C were recorded. They denied the evidence and circumstances against them and said that they had been falsely implicated because of enmity. They were innocent. However, the accused-appellants did not lead any defence evidence oral or documentary.

The trial court, after analyzing the evidence on record and considering the entire facts and circumstances of the case, convicted and sentenced the accused-appellants as mentioned above.

I.B Singh, Senior Advocate, assisted by Ishan Baghel, Dr Salil Kumar Srivastava and Diwakar Singh, for the accused-appellants has submitted that a common FIR was lodged in respect of the three different incidents and in respect of the three different accused, and a common charge sheet was filed against the three accused, on which the common charges were framed.

He has further submitted that there was no allegation of criminal conspiracy and abetment among the three appellants. Accused-appellants are the three individuals and as per Section 154 Cr.P.C, the FIR should relate to one offence and not many offences, which are not part of the one transaction and not related to each other.

On the other hand, U.C Verma, AGA, assisted by Rao Narendra Singh, AGA, has submitted that the accused appellants had never taken objection regarding the admissibility of the documentary evidence, which was produced by the prosecution and proved by the witnesses. No objection whatsoever was taken by the accused-appellants during trial. They have never denied that these were not the mark-sheets and admission forms submitted by them for taking admission in the next class. When the accused-appellants have never denied the existence of the documents on the basis of which they took admission in the next class, and they never took objection, it is not open for them to take this objection at this stage of the appeal.

It is further submitted that the accused-appellants have also not taken any objection in respect of their trial together or lodging of one FIR or framing of common charge for the offence under Sections 468, 471 and 420 IPC.

“In view thereof, I do not find no substance in the submission of counsel for the accused-appellants that the documents were not proved in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of the Indian Evidence Act.

The technical objections taken at this stage have no relevance. The accused-appellants have forged their mark-sheets and took admission in the next class knowing it to be forged and thus, they have committed the offences under Sections 420, 468 and 471 IPC. The forgery was done with obvious purposes of utilizing the mark-sheets to secure admission. The accused-appellants are not in a position to say that they were prejudiced in any manner by common FIR, one charge sheet and same charge for all three accused-appellants and one trial. The allegations are identical. Witnesses were common, who had proved the documents and deposed in support of the charge. Therefore, I am of the considered view that technical pleas in this regard have no substance and are rejected.

Essentially, the offence under Section 468 IPC is the commission of forgery with an intention to use the forged document for the purposes of cheating, whereas the essential ingredients of Section 471 IPC are fraudulently or dishonestly using as genuine any document or electronic record which the accused knows or has reason to believe to be a forged”, the Court observed.

From the evidence lead by the prosecution, the offences under Sections 420, 468 and 471 IPC are fully made out and proved against the accused-appellants and, the trial court has rightly convicted and sentenced the accused-appellants for the aforesaid offences, the Court said while dismissing the appeals.

“The accused-appellants are on bail. Their bail bonds are cancelled and sureties are discharged. They shall be taken into custody forthwith to serve out the sentence as awarded by the trial court. The trial court record be returned back forthwith”, the order reads.

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