Punjab wheelchair club cricketer acquitted of forgery after five years

Written by JAGPREET SINGH SANDHU | Chandigarh | Published:November 15, 2017 9:55 am
chandigarh, wheelchair bound, boy, cricketer, chandigarh police, indian express, express online Ajay (Express Photo)

AJAY (27), PHYSICALLY challenged since birth, came to Chandigarh in 2012 to pursue his studies and make a living. But, he was reportedly detained by police and booked for forgery. Now, after five years, he was acquitted by a court here on Tuesday after the police failed to prove substantial evidence against him.

Ajay was arrested by Chandigarh Police in 2012 and booked under sections of 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged item) and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy).

According to the FIR, the Chandigarh Police received a complaint from the Assistant General Manager of the State Bank of India saying they had received some cheques that had been reportedly tampered with. The AGM told police that unknown people were indulging in manipulating the instruments with the intention of defrauding account holders of the bank.

After the police complaint, an SIT was formed and investigation carried out under Inspector Chiranji Lal, who arrested two persons in the case, including Ajay and another person, who was also acquitted on Tuesday.

Ajay’s counsel Karandev Sharma told court that the cheques, which had been found tampered with, were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory but the report clarified that Ajay’s writing did not match with that on the cheques. Besides, the witness in the case, the bank officials and the victims, whose cheques were found to have been tampered with, could not identify Ajay in court and turned hostile, leading to his acquittal.

The youth came to Panchkula in 2009 and stayed at Saket Hospital before moving to Chandigarh in 2012 after he got the job of a photocopier at a branch of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of Punjab. “I was at my work when the police came and arrested me and took me to Police Station Sector 17, Chandigarh. The policemen told me that they had to verify something and later I got to know that I was booked in a case of forgery. I remained in Burail jail for more than a month and then I got bail from the court in 2012.

Since then, I was suspended from my job which was a major setback for me. After this, I was without job for a year and then I finally got a job at a Reliance store in Chandigarh. Now, it’s been three years that I have been working here,” he said.

At present, Ajay plays for the wheelchair club cricket team of Punjab, which won a tournament organised for people with physical disabilities at Panjab University in

October. “I am lucky to have met a few people like me, who were physically challenged and play cricket. With the help of my friends, I got entry into the wheelchair cricket team of Punjab. I now live at a hostel for disabled and get Rs 2,000 from UT as disable pension. But now, after my acquittal, I wish I could get a job again with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Punjab as my salary will increase,” he said.

Ajay cleared his Class XII from open school and now wishes to get his passport done so that he can take part in wheelchair cricket tournaments abroad.

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