A senior lawyer has complained to the Shindewadi magistrate court at Dadar that it had convicted and awarded punishment to a man, who impersonated his client, an 86-year-old industrialist.
In 2008, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had initiated prosecution of industrialist DN Mehta who headed Brihan Bhartiya Samaj.
The prosecution was initiated after a tenant complained of non-repairs of leakages in a building at Nariman Point that was owned by Brihan Bhartiya Samaj. On July 13, 2009, Mehta’s lawyer Jitendra Dave was shocked to learn that his client had appeared before concerned magistrate and pleaded guilty in his absence.
He also learnt that Mehta had paid Rs 6,000 towards the amount of fine (Rs 3,000 each for himself and the organisation).
“I was stuck in the Bombay High Court on that day and I called up the BMC lawyer to request him to get an adjournment,” Dave told Hindustan Times.
“The BMC lawyer told me that the case was over after the accused pleaded guilty.”
After Advocate Dave got to know that his client had pleaded guilty without consulting him, he called him up. “To my surprise, Mehta told me he was in London and he had not appeared before the magistrate,” said Dave. “In fact, Mehta has never appeared before that court.”
Since then, the lawyer has been trying to get the certified copy of the order passed by the magistrate on July 13, 2009, but haven’t yet got it. He wants to know, who it was and therefore, forwarded a complaint to the magistrate concerned saying: “It is a clear case of impersonation under Sections 415, 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code.”
Dave is worried as somebody might use the order to point a finger at his client. “Somebody might just say that he has criminal intentions,” he said.