Two Chandigarh travel agents get 4-yr RI in cheating case

Two Chandigarh travel agents get 4-yr RI in cheating case

Tribune News Service

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Chandigarh, May 22

Setting aside the order of a trial court, Jagjit Singh, Special Judge, CBI court, has sentenced two travel agents - Sham Lal and Mukesh Sharma - to undergo four years of rigorous imprisonment in a cheating case registered against them seven years ago by the CBI.

The CBI court has also imposed a fine of Rs 41,000 on each convict. The CBI had challenged the order of the trial court pronounced in March 2021 by which both accused were acquitted. The CBI alleged that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy and created forged employment documents for obtaining emigration clearances of various emigrants.

The CBI conducted a surprise check in the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE), Kendriya Sadan, Sector 9, Chandigarh, in 2014. Files pertaining to applications submitted by the accused to the POE, Chandigarh, for grant of emigration clearance of Saudi Arabia were taken into possession.

The scrutiny of the files revealed that the job category of 82 applicants was different from that of mentioned in the applications submitted by them.

The CBI alleged that during investigation, it was found that unskilled persons were wrongly shown in skilled categories of jobs and emigration clearance was obtained without getting the documents of such unskilled persons attested from the Indian Mission/Embassy, which was a mandatory procedure, thereby cheating and causing loss to the government exchequer.

The CBI registered a case against the accused for the offences punishable under Sections 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and Section 24 of the Emigrants Act, 1983, on December 1, 2014 and arrested them. Finding lacuna in the investigation, the trial court acquitted both accused in March 2021 saying the prosecution miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

While challenging the order, Narender Singh, public prosecutor of the CBI, argued that the trial court had wrongly acquitted the respondents, whereas evidence on the file clearly proves the offence committed by them. There is ample evidence to show that the respondents obtained the emigration clearance from the POE, Chandigarh, on forged documents.

After hearing the arguments, Jagjit Singh, Special Judge, set aside the order of the trial court and convicted both accused. The court sentenced both accused to undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years and also imposed a fine of Rs 41,000 each on them.

“These types of offences, whereby common citizens are being cheated by persons like the convicts, are at rise in society and need to be curbed with heavy hands. The punishment, which is to be provided to the convicts, should be such that it acts as a hindrance to other persons so as not to indulge in such offences,” said the court while rejecting their request for leniency.

Tribune Shorts


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