Teacher, caught with forged mark sheet, denied advance bail by Allahabad HC

A teacher, working in a primary school for 11 years on the basis of a forged mark-sheet, had appealed to the Allahabad High Court for anticipatory bail. Now that he has been found out and a police case has been registered against him, he wants to evade jail, but on Thursday, the court rejected his appeal.

The court commented that those making forged mark-sheets are not only harming the education system but are also paralyzing the fabric of society and also attacking the roots of the education system.

Justice Vivek Agarwal passed this order while hearing a criminal misc. anticipatory bail application U/S 438 CrPC filed by Sunil Kumar, the teacher. Kumar was aggrieved by the registration of a criminal case at the Ahmadgarh Police Station, District-Bulandshahar under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC.

The allegation against the accused is that he used a forged mark-sheet, allegedly obtained from Agra University, showing him to have passed the B.Ed Examination in 2004-05. The applicant, though, says that there has been no manipulation of the mark-sheet.

Navin Kumar, counsel for the applicant, submitted that on the strength of this mark-sheet, he was appointed as Assistant Teacher in a primary school where he had joined on August 6, 2009 and he continued to work for about 11 years when his service was terminated.

It is submitted that the applicant is innocent and under similar facts and circumstances in Criminal Misc. Anticipatory Bail Application U/S 438 Cr.P.C. No. 8248 of 2021 (Lokendra Pal Singh and 17 Others) benefit of anticipatory bail has been extended.

The Additional Advocate General submitted that interim protection was afforded in case of Lokendra Pal Singh because A.G.A. in that case had not produced instructions and therefore, matter was thought to be considered on a later date and interim protection was granted till April 27, 2021.

Vinod Kant submitted that his instructions are complete. There is a racket going on in the State of Uttar Pradesh where beneficiaries are obtaining forged mark sheets in connivance with the middleman and the main conspirators, who are having a thorough knowledge of the system, operationalized in various universities.

He submitted that there is a criminal history of the applicant, inasmuch as, a case under Sections 498-A and 304-B IPC was registered against the applicant. Navin Kumar submitted that as far as case under Sections 498-A and 304-B IPC is concerned, parties have already entered into a compromise and in any case i.e., a case in the domain of personal life and have no element of cheating or fraudulent concealment.

It is submitted that authorities are deliberately trying to protect the concerned officials of the university, who in collusion with certain other persons, manipulated with the mark-sheet and cheated innocent persons like applicants.

The applicant has directly come to the Court because FIR was lodged on April 2, 2021, when the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak.

“After hearing Counsel for the parties and going through the record, it is evident that the applicant is a beneficiary of a forged mark sheet. It is a matter of investigation as to whether the applicant had actually appeared in the examination, conducted by the university and had obtained a genuine mark sheet or whether he is a party to the offence or is a victim of the offence, committed by certain other influential accused persons, which may include officials of the university,” the Court said.

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The Court held, “In view of such facts, it is necessary that applicant surrender before the Court and cooperate with the Investigating Officer, inasmuch as, the chain of the beneficiary, middleman and mastermind are long and unless and until, they are all subjected to investigation for which sometimes custodial investigation may also be necessary till the roots of the crime, which is paralyzing the fabric of the society and also attacking the roots of the education system, may not be exposed.

“In view of such facts, there being no parity vis-a-vis case of Lokendra Pal Singh and Others, in the present case, I am of the opinion that for the present, the applicant has failed to make out a case for grant of anticipatory bail, thus, the application fails and is dismissed.”

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