Rashid Paul

Fudging with DoB: HC dismisses bureaucrat’s plea to stop probe

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Srinagar, Sep 08: The J&K High Court on Saturday dismissed a petition by a top state government bureaucrat seeking cancellation of an FIR against him for “fudging” his date of birth records.

Justice M K Hanjura dismissed the petition by MD Khan, Administrative Secretary, Administrative Reforms, Inspection & Training (ARI&T) department, arrested by Crime Branch last week for “fudging” his date of birth records by at least three years.

“The investigation of the case cannot be scuttled, stalled, desiccated or thwarted at this stage of the initial probe in the matter. The FIR in a case like the present one cannot be quashed promptly without allowing the investigating agency to investigate the case appropriately,” said Justice Hanjura.

He observed that the Supreme Court has in a catena of judicial pronouncements held that the FIR cannot be quashed at the threshold itself without allowing the investigation to proceed.

“In this context, the petition of the petitioner sans in merit, it entails dismissal, as a consequence of which, the same is dismissed along with connected it,” he directed.

Before parting with the judgment Justice Hanjura held that it needs to be said that any observation made in this order shall not be taken as an observation on merits and the investigating authority shall investigate the matter on its own strength.

The allegations leveled against the petitioner, as is palpable from the perusal of the FIR, appear to be serious in nature, inasmuch as, it is stated that he tampered the date of birth in his service record with the aim and object to stay in the government service for a longer period, observed the court.

The mandate of law the court justifies that the matter should be investigated into its entirety without aborting it midway. It is only after the conclusion of the investigation of the case that a definite opinion can be framed in light of the grounds agitated and urged by the petitioner in this petition.

It said “it will be too early in the day to comment as to which offence is, and which is not, made out in the case. Any comment on that count is not warranted to be made at this stage. It can be seen only after a full dressed investigation of the case.”

Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police last week raided the house of senior bureaucrat MD Khan and arrested him for fudging date of birth in his service records.

Preliminary investigations into the case established the fraud, said the Crime Branch adding that a case FIR No. 37/2018 U/S 420, 468 & 471 RPC was registered in Police Station Crime Branch Kashmir and investigation taken up.

“As per the record available with the government, Khan was born in November 1958 and was to retire in November 2018. However he had submitted his APRs showing his date of birth as November 1961” the investigation agency said.

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