Rajasthan High Court orders probe against magistrates

They adjourned fraud case repeatedly and exempted accused from personal appearance

The Rajasthan High Court has ordered an inquiry against judicial magistrates associated with the hearing of a large-scale fraud case dating back to 1998. 

Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari held that if persons accused of cheating a large number of people are allowed to "manage" the proceedings in such a detrimental manner, then public confidence in judicial system will be "shaken". 

The judge passed the order while rejecting the bail application of Jeevan Lal Jain, a director of a company, who was arrested by police on November 25, 2010 on charges of forgery and cheating. 

Holding judicial officers prima facie guilty of lapses, Justice Bhandari observed, "This is a serious case where lapses of the judicial officers seem to exist..." 

“In any case, Registrar (Vigilance) is directed to make an inquiry against all the judicial officers who if found negligent for deliberately adjourning the case should be taken to task,” the judge said. UP-based finance company Lion Finance had duped public across the country, including Rajasthan, by luring investors with high interest rates of 22 per cent on their deposits. No charges were framed against the accused during the trial for 13 years, a single judge bench found.

A complaint was filed by one Zakir Hussain in this regard alleging that the company had left him in the lurch after it suddenly closed its operations. Police arrested one of the main accused Raja Aafridi, a director in the company, but he was enlarged on bail.

While Raja later kept on filing applications for exemption from appearance, the courts kept on allowing that for the last 13 years. Taking a strong note of this fact, Justice Bhandari also took suo moto cognisance for cancellation of bail granted to Raja in the matter and issued notice to him.


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