SrinagarThe Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed bail plea of criminal clerk in special judge, anti-corruption and two other persons for tinkering with statement of the witness in a corruption case in January this year.
Ashiq Hussain Farooqi, the criminal clerk , had allegedly allowed one Nisar Ahmad Bhat, Clerk of the an Advocate, to take out the statement of the witness for photocopying outside the Court and did not check the same when it was returned to him, after about twenty minutes by the Advocates Clerk, namely, Nisar Ahmad Bhat. The complicity of Nisar Ahmad Dar, working in the prosecution wing of the Court has also surfaced in the enquiry held by the Special Judge Anti-Corruption, a bench of Justice M K Hanjura observed while dismissing bail plea by accused.
Looking at the instant applications from the perspective of the law laid down above, the applicants acted in concert and removed the statement of one of the prosecution witness and were, thereafter, able to interpolate the same before the machinery of the law could come into motion. The applicants have committed an offence as would impair and undermine the sanctity of the Courts and, therefore, the discretion vested with the Court under Section 490 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P.C.) cannot be exercised in their favour. They have tried to pollute the fountain of justice and to cap it all the investigation of the case has not come to an end as yet, the court said.
While recording the statement on 17th January this year, the Presiding Judge Anti-corruption, detected that the statement of the witness has been tinkered with. After taking note of this fact the Presiding Judge directed to hold a preliminary enquiry into the matter. He also brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir through his Principal Secretary. The object of conducting the preliminary inquiry was to identify the persons who indulged in this dastardly act. On the conclusion of the inquiry, the presiding Judge observed that the accused, namely, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, appeared with his counsel with an application under his own hand. He produced a photocopy of the statement of prosecution witness and the photocopy of the statement of the complainant, Imtiyaz
Ahmad Bhat, as also three other photocopies alleged to be part of the pages of the replaced statement. The Special Judge, Anti-Corruption, concluded that it is evident that the Criminal Clerk of the Court, namely, Ashiq Husain Farooqi, allowed the statement of witness to be taken outside the Court premises and, thereby, gave a full opportunity to the others to tamper the same under a well thought out plan aimed to thwart the course of justice. The Criminal Clerk, it is stated, allowed one Nisar Ahmad Bhat to take out the statement of the witness for photocopying outside the Court and did not check the same when it was returned to him, after about twenty minutes by the Advocates Clerk.
When the matter was placed before the Chief Justice, he directed that an FIR be lodged in the matter by the presiding Judge and, accordingly, the learned trial Judge addressed a written communication
On 8 February to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)/ Station House Officer (SHO), Police Station, VOK, Srinagar, for registration of the FIR. This complaint swung the Vigilance Organization into action and a case for the commission of offences under Section 5(1) (d) read with Section 5(2) of the Jammu & Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act and under Sections 420, 102-B of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), was registered at Police Station, VOK, Srinagar.
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