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Submitted by Aadesh Agarkar

Respondent Tek Chand filed a complaint against the appellant, an advocate; under Sec 35 of the Advocates Act, 1961 before the Bar Council of the State of Andhra Pradesh. The respondent alleged that one Mr. M. Ram Mohan Rao, advocate, with whom the appellant was working as a junior advocate, was a tenant of a house situated at Rashtrapathi Road, Secunderabad of which he was the owner.

1) This house was agreed to be sold for Rs. 65,000 to Premlata daughter of Shri Hastimal Jain and Rs. 10,000 were paid as earnest money.

3)The sale deed was to be completed within a period of three months on the vendee paying the balance of consideration of Rs. 55,000. The vendee did not pay the amount and the respondent alleged that he had cancelled the agreement for sale.

4)It was further alleged that as the consideration for the sale was exceeding Rs. 50,000, tho sale deed could not be registered unless an income-tax clearance certificate was produced, but as the balance of consideration was not paid, the agreement to sell the house was cancelled.

5)However as the vendee Premlata wanted to grab the house without paying the balance of consideration, in order to get the sale deed registered, it was decided to get the income tax clearance certificate and with this end in view an application purporting to be in the name of the respondent with his signature forged thereon bearing the date October 31,1972 and with an incorrect address was prepared.

6) It was specifically averred that the respondent neither signed the application for income-tax clearance certificate nor swore the affidavit. It was alleged that someone impersonated the respondent and this must be known to the appellant because he knew respondent for many years prior to the attestation of affidavit.

7)It was alleged that a suit had been filed by the respondent against Mr. M. Ram Mohan Rao, senior of the appellant, for recovering the arrears of rent in a number of Rs. 17,000 and obviously to cause damage to the respondent, appellant the junior of Mr. M. Ram Mohan Rao attested a forged signature on the affidavit.

8) Knowing that the respondent-complainant had not sworn the affidavit in his presence nor was it signed in his presence by the respondent there having found the appellant guilty of serious misconduct,the Committee imposed a ridiculous punishment of reprimand.

9) The appellant filed an appeal before the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India. ( Appellate Committee' for short.) The Appellate Committee affirmed the order made by the State Committee imposing the punishment of reprimand and conveying a warning to the appellant that he should be careful in future in such matters.

It was held by the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Council of India

The appellant thus facilitated the commission of a fraud by becoming a party to the forged document. The appellant has thus violated his statutory duty conferred by the Oaths Act, 1969.He has knowingly become a party to the forgery of a very valuable document and he has by his conduct facilitated the commission of a fraud which would to some extent benefit his senior Mr. M. Ram Mohan Rao. Accordingly this appeal fails and is dismissed and the punishment of reprimand imposed upon the appellant is varied and he is suspended from practice for a period of five years i.e. up to and inclusive of October 31, 1989. The appellant shall pay the costs of the respondent quantified at Rs 3,000.

Submitted by Aadesh Agarkar

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