HC upholds jail term of PWD employee

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday upheld a trial court's awarding a three-year jail term to a Public Works Department employee for encashing cheques worth Rs.21,000 by forging leave travel documents of three other employees.

Justice P.K. Bhasin dismissed the plea of Ved Prakash, working as a cashier with PWD of Delhi government in September 1988, against the trial court's November 1999 conviction and sentence orders under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

The court dismissing the plea said: "This appeal is without any merit and the judgment of the trial court cannot be faulted for any reason. Therefore, this appeal is dismissed."

In 1988, Prakash had prepared false applications for grant of leave advances in the name of three architects and "sanctioned" them by forging the signatures of various officials, as per the prosecution.

On the basis of forged sanction orders, the accused had prepared false bills and obtained cheques and encashed them, it added.

The court after examining the evidence placed by CBI against Prakash said: "It stood established that the accused had forged sanction orders for Rs.8,000, Rs.5,950 and Rs.6,500 and also prepared false bills."

The court accepted the expert's report that the signatures of the sanctioning officers appeared to be in the handwriting of the accused. "No argument was made before me by the counsel for the accused to show that the expert's report was not trustworthry," the court said.

It further accepted the statements of the officials saying the "officials whose signatures purported to appear on the sanction orders, when appeared in the witness box, denied that they had signed those sanction orders".

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