Free Press Journal

Court acquits three in AICTE document case


New Delhi: Three persons, including an official of All-India Council of Technical Education, have been absolved by a Delhi court of the charge of submitting forged documents to AICTE to run an educational institute in Alwar in Rajasthan.

Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma acquitted S P Singh, the then Regional Officer of AICTE, Manoj Kumar Chachan, Chairman of M/s Chachan Educational and Welfare Society in Alwar and Sanjay Aggarwal, a member of the Society.

They were acquitted of the charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court said it will be unwise to look at every private educational institute with suspicion as it will be bad for the country’s education system.

“Red tapism, too much of documentation, duplicacy of documents, no clear guidelines and the attitude of looking with suspicion at every highly-placed officer and approval granted to run the course is bad for the education system of the country.

“The court is not saying that there are no malpractices or corruption at certain levels. However, it will be unwise to look at every private educational institute with suspicion as it will be bad for the education system of the country,” the judge said.

Singh’s lawyer Pramod Kumar Dubey said that being the convener, the only duty of Singh was to arrange visits and other expenses of the members of the committee and he was nowhere connected or concerned with verifying the genuineness of any document produced by the applicants.

The court said that in this case, by filing of the alleged forged certificate, no loss could have been caused to AICTE since the certificate, which was the legal requirement at that point of time towards land conversion and land use, was already on record and fulfilled the requirement of the applicant for getting approval.

“No wrongful loss was caused to AICTE since the requirements regarding infrastructure, availability of funds, land, library, equipments, faculty were more than sufficient when the Expert Committee had visited the campus. Therefore, I am of the opinion that ingredients under section 420 IPC are not satisfied and proved,” the judge said.

“Coming to Section 471 (using forged document as genuine) IPC, on the same reasoning, Section 471 IPC will also fail as the term ‘fraudulent’ and ‘dishonestly’ will not be satisfied as no purpose for causing forgery survives in the present case as mentioned above. Merely because somebody uses a false document in itself does not make it punishable under section 471 IPC,” the judge said.