High Court refuses to stay arrest of court staffer accused of committing fraud :

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Rajesh Pandey

Observing that fraud by a court staff has far-reaching detrimental effects on the justice system and erodes public trust in the judiciary, the Allahabad High Court refused to quash an FIR and stay arrest of a court staffer against whom an FIR was lodged for allegedly committing forgery of court documents.

Dismissing a writ petition filed by one Suresh Kumar Mishra, who is accused of committing fraud while working as a senior assistant in the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Sonebhadra, a division bench of Justice Siddharth and Justice Vinod Diwakar said, “When court staff abuse their authority for personal gain, it compromises the integrity of judicial decisions and raises questions about the legitimacy of legal proceedings”.

The court made these observations while refusing to quash an FIR and stay arrest under sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (conspiracy) and other sections of IPC against a court staffer for allegedly committing forgery of court documents.

During the court proceedings, the counsel for the petitioner contended that the petitioner himself is a complainant in the present case and, therefore, cannot be implicated as an accused.

Rejecting the plea of the petitioner, the court in its decision dated May 7 said that the investigation is at the pre-mature stage and the role of the petitioner has surfaced as a kingpin in executing the crime. Further, finding that the allegations against the petitioner clearly constitute a cognizable offence justifying the registration of FIR and the investigation thereon, the court refused to allow the criminal writ petition and stay his arrest.

Thus, the petition was dismissed with the direction of completing the investigation as soon as possible.

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