The mother of the 31-year-old man from Haryana, who filed a cheating complaint against a former Supreme Court staffer at the centre of a sexual harassment complaint against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has said that she told him “not to file the case” since it is “was not wise to fight with powerful people”.
And the last time she or her family spoke to her son, Naveen Kumar, who works as a security guard, was on Saturday, the day the SC staffer submitted a representation to judges of the top court, seeking setting up of a committee to look into her allegations against CJI Gogoi. She has also claimed that a “false and frivolous” case of cheating was registered against her at Tilak Marg police station.
The cheating case was registered by Kumar, in which he has alleged that the woman cheated him of Rs 50,000 promising a job in the Supreme Court. An FIR was filed against the woman on March 3, and on April 20, Delhi Police approached the Patiala House Courts to cancel her bail, claiming that the complainant was receiving threats. The next date of hearing is April 24.
At Kumar’s Jhajjar home, his mother Meena (50) told The Indian Express that her son left for Chandigarh at 7 am on April 20, and his phone has been off since then. “I told him not to file that case. It was not wise to fight with powerful people. He is scared for his life. When he left, he told me that everything was going to be all right,” she said.
Kumar works as a security guard in Jhajjar at HL City Pvt Ltd, earning Rs 15,000 a month, according to his family. Sources in the Delhi police Crime Branch, which is probing the case, said that “a written communication has been sent to the Jhajjar SP to provide adequate security to Naveen Kumar.
In his application to the Delhi Police Crime Branch, Kumar claimed that he has been receiving threatening phone calls and was followed on multiple occasions. Policemen from the local Asoda police station in Jhajjar claimed he does not have a criminal record and has not been a complainant in any local cases. SSP (Jhajjar) Ashok Kumar said he works as a security guard in HL City Pvt Ltd, and has a license for a rifle.
Kumar completed his Class XII from MDH senior secondary school, near his house in Jasaur Kheri and his father Satbir Singh drives a taxi in Madhya Pradesh and is away for several months at a time. His mother has set up a tailor shop in their newly converted cowshed, which earlier housed one buffalo. They have one bigha land but do not grow any crops.
After school, Kumar pursued a computer course for three months following which he worked at a SIM card shop for around three years at a salary of Rs 1,500. “He left that job since he had to support us, and married a woman from the locality. He now has a three-year-old boy. My son earns Rs 15,000 now,” said Meena.
Kumar’s employers said he is routinely sent to accompany officials carrying important documents in Chandigarh. “When we hired Kumar, his criminal record was also checked like all employees,” said a representative from HL City Pvt Ltd.
Kumar’s wife claimed, “He was under a lot of stress due to the threatening phone calls. He did not confide in me. Only later did we find that he filed that FIR against a woman working in the SC.” The family said that with no improvement in his salary, Kumar one day came home and asked for money for a job in the SC. He took Rs 15,000 from his parents, some of his own savings and also borrowed from other relatives.
“It took him a month to come up with the money. He was upset at not getting the job. He should have just let it go and earn back the money rather than file the case,” his mother said.
The March 3 FIR also mentions that Naveen Kumar had met “a resident of Kirdodh village”, Mansa Ram (55), who facilitated the meeting between the woman and him on June 2017, and three months later at a bank inside the Supreme Court. In the second meeting, the woman allegedly threatened him and instructed him to not contact her and instead speak to Ram, the FIR claims.
According to Ram’s family, nine months later Ram fell off the terrace of his house and injured his spine. He died in January this year.
Ram’s family told The Indian Express that he was a graduate from Aligarh Muslim University. “He practised at the Jhajjar court and was looking after some property dispute cases and cases of women alleging abandonment by their husbands,” said his son Kishan (19).
“We still do not know to this date how he fell from the terrace. Even he himself could not recollect. His spine was broken and he was paralysed waist down. He was treated at AIIMS in Delhi but never recovered. On January 25, 2019, he died after complaining of breathlessness,” said Ram’s wife Sunita (41).
Police have claimed that Ram helped facilitate the meeting for the job as a process server in the Group D post. The deal was finalised for Rs 10 lakh following which the woman allegedly took Rs 50,000 as advance.
Ram’s family is not aware about the case. They have claimed that they are currently in debt after Ram bought a new house in 2015 and then paid for his elder daughter’s wedding in 2017. “We have to pay more than Rs 14 lakh. I have to also get my younger daughter married. My son is still in college and cannot earn,” said Sunita said. His family have denied claims that he facilitated people to get jobs in the SC.
The woman’s lawyer Vijay Kaushik meanwhile maintained that the case against her was false. “She has been targeted by police. She has never met the complainant or the middleman mentioned in the FIR. She has stated in her affidavit, and I will reiterate, that she never issued any threats. Police have also claimed that the complainant is receiving threatening phone calls, but my client has nothing to do with it,” he said.
Police have so far seized mobile phones of the woman and her husband, a hard disk from their computer, and a DVR of the surveillance camera installed at their Tilak Nagar home.