A case of forgery and cheating was filed at Azad Maidan police station on the basis of a complaint by the Bombay High Court Registry against unidentified persons after the forgery of an order written by Justice Gautam S Patel. The order was forged to create rights over term deposits amounting to Rs 51 lakh in favour of a person who had died 15 days ago.
Advocates Umesh Mohite and Hetal Pandya brought the issue to Justice Patel’s notice with a handwritten complaint and a copy of the forged order. Passing an order in his chamber on February 15, Justice Patel noted that the purpose of forgery was evident since it sought to make one Satishchandra Goradia heir to deposits, including Rs 25 lakh with the Indian Bank and Rs 26 lakh with Bank of Baroda. Justice Patel directed the banks to freeze any encashment or transaction from the term deposits.
One Parth Goradia had earlier approached Umesh Mohite and Hetal Pandya, seeking help in filing a testamentary petition regarding his father’s uncle, Satishchandra Goradia, who had died recently. The petition was to be filed for distribution of properties of the deceased. Parth claimed that Satishchandra was involved in a suit seeking succession to bank deposits in the name of his deceased son Mitesh.
When Mohite and Pandya asked Parth to give details of the case, he said that he did not have much information and handed them an order “passed by Justice Patel on December 1, 2019,” allowing the release of funds from Mitesh’s bank accounts in favour of Satishchandra Goradia. Parth said the order was given to his father by Satishchandra’s lawyer Ashok Vageria.
The lawyers approached Justice Patel after they failed to find the case details on the HC website or in the Judge’s chamber.
After inquiring with his staff, Justice Patel noted that there is no such record of any advocate by the name of Vageria. “There is no manner of doubt that the entire document is not only forgery but a clumsy one,” Justice Patel said.
The court pointed out other glaring indicators of forgery such as certain fonts, punctuation, typographical errors and an “incongruous” paragraph. Stating the need for internal probe, Justice Patel noted that the document was fabricated using courtroom terminal.
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