In a relief to former Congress minister Avtar Henry, a local NRI (non-resident Indian) court dismissed an application filed to charge him with cheating, forgery and other offenses under the Passport and Official Secrecy Acts.
Henry already is facing trial under Section 125-A (penalty for filing false affidavit) of the Representation of People Act, 1951. The application charging him with forgery was moved by Ajay Sehgal on September 17, 2014, which the prosecution had forwarded for the court to take cognizance of offence and frame charges under Section 5 of the Foreigners Act for changing his name, father’s name, date of birth, and place of birth while applying for new Indian passport after getting British citizenship.
Charges under Sections 420 (cheating) 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were sought to be added. Henry’s counsel, VK Sareen, said that the prosecution had failed to produce any evidence that the former minister had abandoned his Indian citizenship.
On October 4, 2013, The Navi Baradari police had filed the investigation report. Between 1986 and 2012, Henry contested five assembly elections from Jalandhar North. He was legislator thrice and minister from 2002 to 2007 in the Amarinder Singh government. He lost in 2007 and 2012.