A Delhi court has set aside the three-year jail term of a man accused of providing fake degrees and certificates for money, saying the investigating officer did not conduct a fair probe.
Special judge S K Sharma acquitted Delhi resident Vijay Bhargava, who was sentenced by a magisterial court for the offences of forgery and criminal conspiracy under the IPC, while observing that there were contradictions in the prosecution story regarding the recovery of fake degrees.
“It is clear that the prosecution witnesses have deposed contradictory to each other regarding the recovery of fake marksheet and certificate,” the judge said.
“Investigating Officer has not conducted investigation properly and fairly… So far as the recovery of articles from the house of Vijay Bhargava is concerned, it becomes doubtful as no public witness was joined in the said recovery,” the court said while allowing Bhargava’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Bhargava was sent to jail in August last year for allegedly providing fake degrees and certificates to one Bhupesh Kumar in 1997 on a payment of certain money.
The court, while freeing him, also observed that the investigating officer could not explain why there were no independent witnesses in the case.
“No reason has been assigned by the Investigating Officer why no public witness was joined at that time. Therefore, in view of the fact that no public witness was joined in the recovery coupled with the conduct of Investigating Officer, the said recovery also becomes doubtful.
“Therefore, the impugned Judgment of Conviction and Order on Sentence can not be sustained and the same are hereby set aside,” the court said.
The court noted that the accused were arrested from New Delhi Railway station where police officials are always deployed but the investigating officer did not make them join the raiding team.
“Admittedly, policemen remain present at the gate of the Railway Station… The Investigating Officer did not ask the said policemen to join the raiding party. This also creates a doubt in the prosecution case,” it said, while allowing Bhargava’s appeal.
In his appeal, Bhargava claimed the court order was arbitrary and illegal and the prosecution had failed to establish chain of circumstances to prove his guilt.
( Source – PTI )