Nashik: In a shocking revelation, an important document related to the charges against Public Works Department (PWD) branch engineer Jagdish Wagh has gone missing and replaced with a forged document.
The case was being tried at the district and sessions court number 8 here in the city.
The case was lodged in the year 2013, when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), caught Wagh along with the prime suspect Executive Engineer, PWD, Satish Chikhlikar.
The document having signatures of the complainant Irfan Yasin Shaikh, two police officials and the then deputy superintendent of police Shankar Kamble has gone missing. It had names of the accused Chikhlikar, Wagh and one Mali.
The new allegedly forged document is missing the signatures of the complainant and one of the cops. It also misses the name of the accused Wagh in the case along with other changes made in the document.
“These names were found to be missing suddenly when the evidence of the case was being verified and then closed before the verdict,” said Principal District Judge Suryakant Shinde. The judge issued orders to the registrar to file a case with the Sarkarwada police for the same on Wednesday night.
A case has been registered against an unknown person for forging the record of court or public registered and forgery of the purpose of cheating under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The case was lodged on April 29, 2013, when Irfan Shaikh approached the ACB alleging that Chikhlikar demanded a bribe of Rs 22, 000 along with Wagh and Mali. Judge Shinde described the incident of serious nature.
“Tampering and manipulating the evidence and documents of courts is a serious crime and raises questions over the integrity of the judiciary. I cannot remain a mute spectator to the incident, and hence the case is now transferred to the court of Additional Sessions Judge 1, P R Deshmukh,” Shinde said adding that filing a case will ensure the accused are held.
Public Prosecutor, Ajay Misar, said that he objected to the missing of the document and change in the new record on June 13, 2018, during one of the proceedings. “It was an issue of deep concern as the names of the accused were omitted, and the necessary signatures were missing from the document.
The original record was changed in nine days as the next hearing was held on March 22, 2018,” he added. Misar said that records were manipulated in such way to ensure that the demand of bribe could not be established and the accused would be acquitted.
He further said that witness Ram Joshi one of the witnesses in the case on March 14 assured the complaint document of the court record was genuine and verified. However, on March 22 he rejected the report claiming that his signatures were missing.
Misar told that when the issue was raised and objected in the court, the judge failed to take cognisance of the same and demanded to continue the proceedings. “I immediately notified the incident with the PDG,” he added.
The public prosecutor also stated that a person applied for a certified copy of the forged document on November 11, 2017. However, the name of the applicant has been erased with the whitener in the registration book of the court.