A judicial clerk at Ballard Pier Court was arrested on Wednesday for forging the signature of a judge on 105 documents. The clerk has claimed he intended to help reduce pendency in the court, while the police is investigating if he was paid by the litigants to do so. The accused, Maruti Salunke (54), is a clerk at Court 33 at Ballard Pier, which is designated to hear cases of cheque bounce under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
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With a view to reducing the pendency, a decision had been recently taken for cases to be transferred to magistrate courts in the jurisdictions in which they had been filed, the police said. The process of transferring the cases, however, took some time, leading to Salunke allegedly intervening.
According to the complaint filed by court registrar Dinesh Hegde at MRA Marg police station, on Wednesday afternoon, Judge R S Aradhye was inspecting seven bunches of files containing 105 cases of cheque bounce relating to the firm India Infolline Ltd — which had to be transferred to other courts — when he saw that the orders bore his signature.
An internal inquiry found Salunke had signed in for the Judge without informing him, the police said.
“The accused has said he forged the judge’s signatures on 105 cases as he wanted to speed up their transfer,” said Manoj Kumar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone I.
Salunke was arrested on Wednesday and booked for cheating and forgery. He has been remanded in police custody until February 20.
Sharma said police were investigating whether Salunke had been bribed by India Infoline Ltd to move the files to the courts concerned for speedy disposal.