Read Order: Sukhvir Singh Petitioner v. State of Punjab

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 05,2022: While dealing with a pre-arrest bail of an accused-teacher who emailed a forged order of his reinstatement after he was terminated from his service on account of hiding the fact of his involvement in a criminal case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the petition. 

The Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan held, “In the present case, custody of the petitioner would be required to unearth the modus operandi adopted and the recovery of electronic devices used is to be made. If granted protection of pre-arrest bail, the deeper probe required in the case would not be possible.”

The Court was dealing with a petition for the grant of anticipatory bail in an FIR registered under Sections 419, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 IPC at Police Station City Sangrur. 

As per the case set-up, the petitioner was appointed as Math Master on a contract basis under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and was discharging his duties in Govt. Senior Secondary School Razia in 2018.

In 2018, an FIR was registered against him under Sections 376 and 120-B IPC in Police Station Hathoor, District Ludhiana. The petitioner was suspended by the Education Department and he was allowed to join as an enquiry was pending. 

His job was regularized, wherein he made a self-declaration concealing the fact regarding the pendency of the criminal case. His services were thus terminated in March 2020. The petitioner forged his reinstatement order and joined the duty in September 2020 and claimed salary. The present FIR was registered on the complaint made by DPI. 

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner challenged the termination order by way of a writ petition which was pending and that he had no occasion to produce a forged reinstatement order. It was further argued that departmental enquiry was pending and no record of e-mail regarding forged reinstatement order was available with the department.

On the other hand, the Counsel for the State opposed the prayer for the grant of anticipatory bail. He submitted that the petitioner was involved in three FIRs, the first of which was registered under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC with similar allegations registered at Police Station City Barnala.

It was further argued that custody of the petitioner was required as the modus operandi and the electronic devices used for creating false reinstatement order were to be recovered. He further argued that custody of the petitioner was required as the investigation with regard to how the Education Department allowed the petitioner to join the investigation without checking the veracity of the reinstatement order, was to be done. 

The Court observed at the very outset that the allegations against the petitioner were serious in nature. The Court noted that the petitioner e-mailed the forged reinstatement order and thereafter he joined duty and drew the salary. 

Further, the Court observed that similar allegations were levelled against the petitioner in FIR registered in another case wherein the petitioner produced a forged appointment letter based upon the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court in the writ petition, for appointment as an Economics Lecturer. He filed an affidavit that he was never dismissed and no departmental enquiry or case was initiated against him. 

In the present case, the Court observed that the custody of the petitioner would be required to unearth the modus operandi adopted and the recovery of electronic devices used was to be made. Thus, Justice Jhingan was of the view that if granted protection of pre-arrest bail, the deeper probe required in the case would not be possible. 

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

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