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HC seeks police reply on ex-SC staffer's plea to quash FIR on posting wrong info on court website


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has sought response of the police on a plea by a sacked Supreme Court staffer, seeking quashing of the FIR against him for allegedly posting wrong information on the apex court's website related to a case involving Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice to the Delhi Police on the petition by Tapan Kumar Chakraborty, who was then an assistant registrar, court master in the apex court.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 25.
Chakraborty and another SC staffer, Manav Sharma, were arrested in April last year. Later, they were granted bail.
Chakraborty, through advocate Rishi Malhotra, sought quashing of the FIR lodged against him on March 1, 2019, saying that even if the allegations are accepted to be true, neither the ingredients of the offence as alleged are made out nor any active role of the petitioner can be imputed of any criminal intent in the case.
"If the court masters are to be implicated in criminal cases on the sole pretext of some error in court proceedings, then it would be extremely difficult for them to perform their official functions leading to chaos and to face malicious persecution like this," he said in the plea.
The petition stated that its almost an year since the FIR was lodged in March last year but there is no inference from the police as to whether they would be filing a charge sheet in the case especially against Chakraborty.
After the January 2019 incident, the accused were dismissed by the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The duo had allegedly uploaded an apex court order, which said Ambani's presence in a case had been dispensed with, despite the court ordering that he be present for the next hearing, police had said.
The top court had sacked the two court officials for tampering with its January 7 last year order on the issue of personal appearance of Ambani in connection with the contempt matter filed against him by Swedish telecom group Ericsson.
Justice Gogoi, since retired, had passed directions to terminate the services of the two court officials who were responsible for noting the judge's orders and getting them uploaded on the apex court's website.
Justice R F Nariman, who was dealing with Ambani's case, had forwarded a complaint to the then CJI that the order in the matter for the presence of the contemnor was not properly found in it.
The order dictated had stated that the personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is not dispensed with, but it found the word 'not' was missing.
The discrepancy in this regard was brought to the notice of the bench on January 10 last year by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who was appearing for Ericsson.
Taking note of the fact, an order was passed by the then Chief Justice on administrative side dismissing the two employees.
The crime branch of Delhi Police had lodged the FIR against the two officials for the alleged offences of cheating, forgery, using forged document as genuine, public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report contrary to law, criminal consipracy under the IPC and the Information and Technology Act.

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First Published: Jan 31 2020 | 8:20 PM IST

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