Man forges HC Chief Justice sign, held

Jajpur: A truck owner was arrested on Monday on the charges of forging an order of the Odisha High Court and tampering the signatures of two of its judges, including Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda, for releasing his seized vehicle.

The trucker, identified as Surendra Kumar Sahu of Brahmanipal, was arrested following a complaint filed by the Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) with the local police station on Sunday night. However, his associates, including three advocates who prepared the fake court order and signatures of the judges, absconded.

On March 31, police seized a coal-laden truck near Mangalpur after which it was handed over to the Deputy Director, Mines, Jajpur Road, for further action. Then the DDM started official proceedings in order to confiscate the seized vehicle.

The owner of the vehicle was served a notice accordingly and he appealed before the DDM at his office for compounding his vehicle. The compound money was fixed at Rs 1,37,500 last month but the owner didn`t turn up.

On August 3, the vehicle owner came to the DDM office and showed him a high court order in which he was directed to release the vehicle unconditionally.

"On getting the HC order, I suspected some foul play because earlier orders issued by the same HC that there was no direction to release the seized vehicle unconditionally. So, my suspicion grew," said Satyananda Sahu, DDM.

He then contacted the Advocate General and informed him of details about the order produced by the vehicle owner. The AG in his reply told him that there was no such order issued by the HC.

Jajpur Road Police received a complaint from Sahu about the fake HC order to release the seized vehicle last night.

"Our investigation reveals five persons, including three advocates, had prepared the fake order. Three accused advocates include one form Jajpur Road and two belong to Cuttack. An amount of Rs 10,000 was paid to them," Jajpur SP Deepak Kumar said.

"Signatures of the two judges, including the Chief Justice, is also found to be fake. We have nabbed one person and other three have absconded," said Kumar.