Document forgery biz rampant; Law Ministry directs bodies to remain vigil

By Bimal Gautam

It has been revealed that there are rampant cases of forgery in which lawyers, government employees and brokers band together to manufacture verdicts through bogus judges, and take personal and other benefits.

With the revelation, the Law Ministry has constituted a probe panel and directed the bodies under it to be vigil over the cases of fradulence.

More often than not, authorities have ascertained lawyers’ hand in the ‘sham’ business of forging documents including court verdicts with the name of nonexistent judges, and translating them into English from the Kanun Kitab Vyawastha Samiti (KKVS)–the government office for verification of official documents orgininally written in Nepali and translating into English, if requested.

With the help of forged divorce certificates and other documents, attempts have been made to arroggate properties from individuals in some cases. Numerous citizenship and relationship verification certificates have been found to be faked.

The ministry has proceeded action against some some 30 employees whose nexus has been seen in some cases of forgery.

In Kathmandu alone, four cases of fake verdicts have been discovered. The KKVS translated three verdicts into English and marked its official stamp on the copies, thereby recognising the ‘genuineness’ of the documents. It, however, did not workn on the fourth one as it missed the judge’s signature.

The probe panel formed to look into the matter has submitted a report to Law Minister Dev Gurung recently. The report has concluded that ‘serious crime’ and irregularities have occurred in the KKVS business in the name of translation.

It has pointed out that some unuthorised people have been taking benefits through forgery.

Lawyers have seen to be in the forefront of the sham business.

Advocate Khagendra Bohora, with the Notary Public registration number 662, submitted an application for translation of a verdict at the KKVS. Later, it was discovered that both the verdict and the name of the judge were bogus.

Bohora had mentioned the name of the jugde at the Baglung District Court as Jeevan Lal in the verdict of a case. When the probe panel consulted the Supreme Court to verify the jugde’s name, the cheating was revealed.

The panel has recommended to take action against Bohara and 12 other KKVS employees who translated the verdict without verifying the facts.
Another lawyer Birendra Shiwakoti, with the license number 9651, has forged two verdicts with bogus name of the judges. He had filed separate applications for translation of the court decision of the case of Sanjaya Rana and Sharada Rana of Siddhartha Nagar 13 with Rajendra Singh’s name as the judge, and that of Lakshmisara Rai and Surya Ram Sunuwar of Okhaldhunga with the name of Ram Krishna Chitrakar as the judge.

The probe panel could not find an evidence of existence of the judges in the respective district courts.

“The records at the Supreme Court, Judicial Council and the district courts did not show any jugde with those names,” said a source at the Law Ministry, adding, “There can be no other crime bigger than it.”

The translation of the three verdicts was done recently.

The KKVS, on the other hand, says that translation was done in trust when the verdicts submitted contained ditto offical stamps of the courts, and signatures.
Meanwhile, the KKVS admitted that it was a serious mistake and unfortutate. “We were cheated,” said KKVS Acting Member Secretary Mohan Bahadur Chhetri.

“We are serious about the matter and we are surprised too,” added he.
He opined that those involved in the business should be brought to the justice, and said that measures are being taken to curb the activities of brokers.

According to the spokesperson at the law ministry, Rajuman Singh Malla, to implement the recommendation of the probe panel, the report has been forwarded to the KKVS.

“We are doing further investigation. There might be other serious crimes,” said he. According to him, the ministry already directed the KKVS to be serious and work to thwart the wrongful conducts which, he said, if not curbed immediately would get established as a trend.

The probe panel has concluded that in most of the cases of documents forgery there is direct and important involvement of lawyers.
In another instance, six documents and citizenship certificates submitted by lawyer BP Dhakal, license number 6186, at the KKVS for translation are fake.

The KKVS has informed the Kathmandu District Administration about the cases and asked to take action against Dhakal.
Also, dozens of passports, and some relationship verfication certificates have been found to be fake.

The KKVS asked the Nepal Bar Association to take action against advocate Chitra Bahadur Trikhatri, license number 6390, when it found that the relationship verification document of Karbir Pun of Pokhara-11 contained fake signature of Department of Commerce Section Officer Narayan Prasad Sapkota.

( Translated and edited by Keshav P. Koirala) Posted on: 2009-02-07 11:44:33 (Server Time)