Fake Advocate Case- Calcutta HC Orders FIR, Restrains Filing By Unregistered Clerks, Notary Not To Certify Without Verification
Taking a serious view of the practice of impersonation and fraud being committed in collusion with Advocates/fake advocates, the Calcutta High Court has directed the Additional Director of General Police (CID) and Police Commissioner, to initiate appropriate criminal proceedings in the matter.
"This Court has taken a serious note of this practice of impersonation, forgery and fraud being committed in collusion with Advocates/fake advocates, clerks, Notary Public and there are many persons who are not coming into the picture. Additional Director of General Police (CID), West Bengal and Commissioner of Police, Kolkata will take cognizance of all these matters and immediately initiate appropriate criminal proceedings by lodging formal FIR and thoroughly investigate the cases under their supervision…", the Court ordered.
The Single Bench of Justice Md. Nizamuddin has also directed that no Notary Public or the Oath Administering Authority in subordinate judiciary will allow affirmation of any affidavit or certify any document without proper verification of the executants/deponent including the Advocates and advocate's clerks.
"Henceforth no Notary Public or the Oath Administering Authority in subordinate judiciary will allow affirmation of any affidavit or certify any document without proper verification of the executants/deponent including the Advocates and advocate's clerks without their identification document like Aadhar Card/Voter's Identity Card/Bar Association identity card/Pan Card/Bar Council Registration document etc….", the Court ordered.
The Court has also directed that no document be allowed to be filed in the High Court or in subordinate Courts by a clerk without verification and quoting of his licence/registration number.
The Court had on August 31 ordered the personal appearance of Advocate Avijit Pal at 10.30 am on September 5, after he did not appear when the matter in which he appears for the petitioner was called.
When the matter was called on September 5, it was reported that the address mentioned by the Advocate was non-existent and the mobile number furnished also did not exist in his name and nobody new about such an Advocate. (read report)
The Court further noted that the person named Abhijit Pal is the Advocate on Record in two more writ petitions with the same address as given in the above-mentioned petition and with the same mobile number.
On September 12, one Jayanta Polley was examined by the Court. He had acted as a clerk in all these writ petitions and in some cases had acted as attorney of the writ petitioners for filing these writ petitions by virtue of fake power of attorney.
He deposed that he was never authorized by the writ petitioners to execute the power of attorneys and to affirm these affidavits and to file these Writ Petitions.
Further, the Court noted that in addition to the name of Advocate Abhijit Pal/Avijit Pal, he disclosed the names of two other advocates namely Monideepa Banerjee and Goutam Banerjee of Red Cross Place, Kolkata who instructed him and paid him money to do all these things by acting as Advocate's clerk as well as by acting as Attorney of the Writ Petitioners on the basis of Powers of Attorney manufactured by the aforesaid Advocates.
In his deposition, he stated that the aforesaid two advocates Monideepa Banerjee and Goutam Banerjee has threatened him with dire consequences even of murdering him and his family members if he discloses anything in Court about all these affairs.
He further deposed that he knew Avijit Pal/Abhijit Pal named advocate who is the advocate on record in all these writ petitions.
He also confessed that he had no valid licence to act as Advocate's clerk even at the time of signing and filing these writ petitions and documents and his clerk's licence has already expired during the Covid period.
Government Pleader Anirban Ray and Additional Government Pleader T.M. Siddiqui had appeared for the State.
The Court has directed the Commissioner of Police and the Additional Director General of Police (CID) to submit the investigation progress report on September 26, 2022.
Cause Title- Vishwanath Pradhan v. The State of West Bengal & Ors with Ors.