The judgment that started it all

  • Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 16, 2015 10:04 IST

A scathing judgment of the Punjab and Haryana high court of December 2009 in the cas — under ED’s probe now — had directed the Chandigarh police to “thoroughly investigate the entire case and to bring all the persons involved in this case to justice even if they happen to be counsels of any prominence.”

While dismissing the bail application of O P Mittal, co-accused in the fraud case registered in 2009, Justice Ranjit Singh (now retired) added, “Any want or lack of duty on the part of investigating agency would not hesitate the courts to interfere and to ensure action against all those who are found to be involved in such like crime.”

The FIR number 4, dated July 22, 2009, was registered under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC at Police Station, vigilance, Chandigarh, on the complaint of owner of SCF 8, Sector 20 — Tara Singh, who is an NRI and staying in UK. He submitted this complaint from UK to the then UT home secretary who ordered the case to be registered. The complaint was of this property’s illegal sale.

The owner alleged that advocates working in connivance with the estate officer managed to procure a NOC for the sale as also a registered sale deed without his knowledge.

The UT police booked advocate GS Sawhney, his munshi Harnek Singh, advocate JB Singh and Tara Singh’s brother Jaswant Singh, who were suspected to be involved in forging the power of attorney of Tara Singh and selling the SCF to OP Mittal who was the tenant in the SCF and later the buyer of the SCF.

Mukesh Mittal was OP Mittal’s counsel. Mittal’s munshi Ajay Singh’s signatures appear as witness on many of the papers related to the deal.

“The petitioner (OP Mittal) had engaged a counsel in this regard. Either his influence or that of the counsel seems to be at play in the case. What has been managed is not something which can easily be done and the entire episode is a cause of serious concern. One would feel sad and ashamed to notice that the advocates, forgetting the call of their profession, are seen to have joined hands in defrauding a party.. sad day for administration of justice.”

ED placed judgment before HC

While investigating the possibility of money laundering the Tara Singh case, the ED registered its ECR (ED’s FIR) in 2013. During the investigation, the agency froze the bank accounts of Sawhney’s wife Sudeep Kaur. Following this, she moved the Punjab and Haryana high court against the ED probe. She failed to get any relief from the court.

The ED placed before the court this 2009 judgment of the HC. Hearing the case on December 17, 2014, Justice Rajive Bhalla directed the ED to thoroughly probe the case.

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