Mumbai: Two policemen accused of forging a Presidential pardon to get reinstated after dismissal from service following conviction in a custodial death case, have been fined Rs 50,000 each by the Bombay High Court.
Observing that there was gross abuse of law and the cops were guilty of fraud, Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S S Shinde asked Inspector Dilip Parmar and Constable Kantilal Mandole to pay the fine.
The judges also slapped show cause notices on the policemen asking them to explain before January 7 why action should not be taken against them for contempt as they had filed petitions in the High Court seeking reinstatement on the basis of a forged letter from President`s office saying they had been granted pardon.
An inquiry under CrPc has also been ordered to ascertain alleged fabrication of documents and abuse of the process of law. Parmar is absconding while Mandole is in jail.
The High Court observed that the language used in the Presidential pardon illegally procured in February this year was "poor" and there was a serious doubt whether the communication was issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The court was informed that Maharashtra government checked with Rashtrapati Bhavan, which said no such letter was issued. The letter is forged and the state would take action against the duo for committing forgery, the prosecutor said.
Parmar and Mandole, both aged 56, claimed in the petition that they had been given Presidential pardon in 2010.
When the prosecutor checked the fact with the home department of the state government, he was told that the letter could not be traced. Concerned, the home department approached Rashtrapati Bhavan which confirmed that no such pardon had been given.
Parmar and Mandole were convicted along with five
other constables for custodial death of a suspect in 1990 when they were posted at D N Nagar police station in suburban Andheri. They were dismissed from service after being sentenced to three years in prison by a court in 1996.
The petition said as the High Court and Supreme Court dismissed their appeals and upheld their conviction, they filed a mercy petition with the President and were pardoned. They claimed the President directed the state government to reinstate them with full benefits.
The duo told the Court that they got a reminder from the President`s office in February 2011 as the state had not complied with the directive. A copy of this reminder, signed by A Samuel, purportedly an Under Secretary in the President`s Secretariat, was annexed to the petition.
The reminder, full of syntax errors, raised suspicion of the prosecutor and subsequent inquiries established that no such pardon was given and also no reminder issued.
One of the paragraphs of the forged letter that aroused suspicion read: "The mercy petitioner above in service Mumbai Police Force State of Maharashtra. Reinstead and clear of acquittal Government Service all benefit effect deem date issue immediate necessary action and reply submit office of the Secretary President of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan, new Delhi".