The district and sessions court of Chandigarh has upheld the order of the trial court which sought a report from the Chandigarh Police against two former officials of CBI, facing a complaint of false attestation of photocopies, filed by Punjab cadre IFS officer Harsh Kumar. The matter is scheduled for hearing on October 1 at JMIC Court.
The JMIC (Judicial Magistrate First Class) court of Geetanjali Goel on January 19 this year had sought a report from the Chandigarh Police under Section 202 of the CrPC from a police official not below the rank of DSP against the two CBI officials — Mahesh Aggarwal, then CBI SP, and Karnail Singh, then CBI DSP — while the compliance with the order was sought till April 20.
The Chandigarh Police, however, moved the sessions court on May 2, 2019, filing an appeal against the JMIC court order, seeking it to be set aside. However, the sessions court of Paramjeet Singh dismissed the appeal mentioning that “…limitation period for filing revision is 90 days, as such, the revision petition is also barred by limitation…”
The sessions court also held that “…the order seeking police report u/s 202 Cr.P.C. is a purely interlocutory order against which a revision is not maintainable…”
Mahesh Aggarwal is ADGP posted in Tamil Nadu at present while Karnail Singh has retired. While Mahesh Aggarwal was not available for comment, Karnail Singh said, “I am not aware of this case and its order.”
The matter pertains to a complaint filed by the IFS (Indian Forest Services) officer, Harsh Kumar, then Conservator of Forests, Hoshiarpur, in 2015 at the Chandigarh district court.
As per reports, Forest Hill Golf Resort and Country Club was allegedly constructed at Karoran village, then in Ropar district, on reserved forest land in violation of all norms. The controversy had cropped up in 2003-04, with senior IFS and IAS officers being accused of conniving with the owner (retired colonel B S Sandhu) in circumventing forest laws. It was in October 2004 that the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered demolition of the golf course and directed the CBI to probe the case. The CBI thus registered an FIR in the matter against IFS and IAS officials, the proceedings of which had later been stayed by the Supreme Court.
In 2005, Kumar filed a complaint with the Punjab Police alleging that a false affidavit had been submitted by the CBI investigating officers, which mentioned that IFS Kumar, who had earlier conducted an inquiry related to the Forest Hill Golf Resort, had asked for Rs 1 lakh in 2002, threatening to open an inquiry into the illegality of the resort land. The Punjab Police internal vigilance probed the matter and found that the affidavit produced by the CBI was a photocopy and was fabricated, and it also revealed that another IFS officer had impersonated as Harsh Kumar.
Thus Kumar filed a complaint against Mahesh Aggarwal and Karnail Singh in 2015, alleging that the duo who had been investigating a matter of corruption related to the illegality of Forest Hill Resort at Mohali, had created false evidence, false attestation of photocopies, and helped culprits of Punjab Forest Department, giving wrong statements and filing tempered documents in the CBI court against him.
The preliminary evidence in the complaint of Kumar, however, has been completed in the Chandigarh court now, where Punjab Police official Iqbal Singh and IFS (retd) Gurbach Singh have submitted that the document was fabricated.