In the case of, MANISH MADANMOHAN AGRAWAL & ORS. VERSUS SATYANARAYAN DULICHANDJI AGRAWAL & ORS there was a dispute that arose during court proceedings which revolved around a Special Leave Petition (SLP).
An SLP is a provision that grants the aggrieved party to have their case heard in the Apex or Supreme Court. In the present case where two court orders from the same bench, dated on 25th July 2022 were marked as Annexure A and B.
Annexure A was an order quashing the SLP. However, Annexure B was allowing the same Special Leave Petition which as per the court records, the cited annexure had the order dismissed by the court.
The Supreme Court while reviewing a Miscellaneous Application submitted as part of a Special Leave Petition, initiated action on its own accord after noticing that a document attached to the application as an annexure, which was labelled as an official order from the Apex Court, was found to be counterfeit or was fabricated.
The judges initially became suspicious of a court order forgery in August, when they spotted two contradicting orders appended to a petition submitted. Both rulings were said to have been issued by the same bench on the same day and had the same case number, indicating that they were related to the same case. However, one order was a dismissal order while the other order indicated that the Court had allowed the plea.
The issue pertinent to the bench consisting of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal was that the court order passed for the SLP and presented as a petition could be fake or fabricated. The two lawyers who were present during the filing of the petition namely Prity Mishra, had failed to appear before the court despite a notice being issued against them. while the other advocate on record Aftab Ali Khan was present. On the grounds of Fraud, the court found that Criminal Law must take precedence in this case if the Annexure in question was indeed forged.
The Court Order
After perusing the relevant documents, the Court directed the Judicial Registrar to hold an inquiry into this aspect and submit a report to the Court.
The Judicial Registrar upon looking into the matter and investigating it, submitted the report received before the honourable bench stating that Annexure B was deemed to be fabricated.
Upon conferring and the bench deciding that the order was fabricated, the court ordered a criminal investigation and started proceedings. The bench held that the report obviously indicated that the document which was shown as a copy of the order and was designated as Annexure B was fabricated.
Therefore, the court held that the Registrar to submit a copy of this fabricated order along with the annexures while lodging a complaint against this advocate and also ordered the Police to submit a report about the investigation, two months from the date of the order. After perusing the relevant documents, the Court directed the Registrar to hold an inquiry into this aspect and submit a report to the Court. After reviewing the Registrar’s report, the Court concluded that one of the attached orders was clearly forged. As a result, it instructed the Registrar to initiate criminal proceedings by filing a complaint with the jurisdictional police station.