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Supreme Court grants relief from arrest to govt official accused of cheating, forgery

A two-judge bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice to the State of Maharashtra to file its reply within six weeks

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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice and granted interim relief from arrest to a government official accused in a case of cheating and forgery registered with the MIDC, Police Station, Latur, Maharashtra. (Pandit Vs The State of Maharashtra)

A two-judge bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice to the State of Maharashtra to file its reply within six weeks on an appeal filed by a man, who was acting as Sub-Registrar at Murud. 

“Petitioner is at liberty to serve the standing counsel for the State of Maharashtra. In the meantime, the petitioner shall not be arrested in connection with F.I.R. bearing C.R No. 361 of 2020 registered with the MIDC, Police Station, Latur, Maharashtra,” said the top court in its order. 

During the hearing today, the Counsel of co-accused Pandit submitted that since the charge sheet is already submitted before the trial court, therefore, custodial interrogation is not required and he will co-operate with the investigation officer in any kind of assistance, if required.

The present appeal before the Supreme Court was filed against the order of the Bombay HC Bench at Aurangabad, which had dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by the co-accused under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The petitioner is one of accused in the FIR registered with MIDC Police Station, Latur for the offences punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 387, 506 and 120-B of IPC.

The allegation against Pandit was that he hatched a conspiracy with the other accused, allowing a declaration deed to be registered, which contained recitals regarding transfer of property by the informant to the persons making the declaration, when, in fact, there was no such sale deed ever executed and registered between the informant and the main accused making that declaration.

The Bombay High Court Judge noted, “I have carefully gone through the papers of investigation. As can be gathered, the allegations are to the effect that the applicant enabled the prime accused to get registered a declaration deed containing recitals regarding execution of sale deed, purportedly executed by the owner of the property – the informant in favour of the main accused to suit their purpose and getting the land mutated in their names.

“This was perceived by the Controller of Stamps, when he issued such Circular dated December 22, 2011, observing therein that the experience had shown that there were instances of such kind of transactions and declaration deeds being executed and registered,” he added.

The High Court had declined the pre-arrest bail petition of Pandit, observed on basis of materials adduced by the prosecution.

Read Also: Supreme Court grants interim relief from arrest to an army man accused in case of dowry, cruelty, unnatural offences

“Admittedly, no sale deed was ever registered, purportedly transferring the immovable property belonging to the informant to the main accused. In spite of such a state-of-affairs, the declaration deed containing patently false statement regarding execution of such a sale-deed was allowed to be registered by the applicant,” the Bench observed. 

The High Court noted that the custodial interrogation of Pandit (petitioner) becomes imperative in this case, specially when charges of conspiracy are involved.  

“There is CDR demonstrating as to how the petitioner has been in constant telephonic conversation with the main accused,” the Court added. 

Source: ILNS

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