The Delhi High Court has upheld a sessions court’s order discharging socialite Bina Ramani, owner of restro-bar Tamarind Court where model Jessica Lal was shot dead in 1999, in an alleged forgery case.
Justice P S Teji said the sessions court decision to set aside the order passed by a magisterial court framing charge under section 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of IPC against Ramani has no “illegality or infirmity”.
The court further observed that the FIR was registered on August 4, 2006 and the charge sheet was filed in June 2013 about seven years after the registration of FIR, against her “which is clearly barred by the limitation as provided under Section 468 (bar to taking cognisance after lapse of the period of limitation) CrPC”.
The police had filed the charge sheet saying during the probe into Jessica murder case, it was found that Ramani was running a restro-bar ‘Once Upon a Time’ at Mehrauli Road in South Delhi without a valid licence for serving liquor by using forged documents.
The magistrate had discharged Ramani and others for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and others. It had, however, framed charge only under section 471 of the IPC against Ramani.
The police then filed a revision petition before the sessions court challenging the magistrate’s order discharging Ramani for the alleged offences.
The sessions judge had dismissed the plea of police observing that the charge sheet was filed in 2013 after seven years of the FIR being registered and thus, the order framing charge against Ramani was barred by limitation.
Concurring with the findings of the sessions judge, the high court judge said, “This court finds no illegality or infirmity in the reasoning given by Additional Session Judge and this court finds no reason to take a different view from the said order”.
(Source : PTI)