The Supreme Court today upheld that verdict of the Himachal Pradesh High Court convicting SM Katwal, IAS officer and a former chairman of HP Subordinate Services Commission in a case about forging of mark lists an applicant’s wrongfully including him into the merit list.
The Counsel for the prosecution and state, Surya Narayan confirmed that SC upheld the HC decisions while hearing an appeal of Mr. Katwal against the order passed by Justice Surjit Singh and Justice Kuldip Singh in March 2011.
The Division bench of Justice V Gopala Gowra and Justice R. Bhanumati of SC upheld the lower courts convict under sections 468 and 471 of IPC that has awarded rigorous imprisonment for one year and Rs. 1000/- fine each for the two offenses.
The conviction u/s 13 (2) Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 218, 465 IPC has been set aside by the State High Court dismissing the appeal of the State Government for the enhancement of the sentence. The case pertained to the filling of vacancies of Vidya Upasak in the education department for the year 2000.
Katwal was charged with forging the mark list for monetary gains whereas the accused took the plea that he was being falsely implicated because of political vendetta and denied any overwriting in mark sheets of the applicant candidates.
Marks of 6 candidates were said to have been increased through overwriting. Whereas viva-voice marks of 5 candidates has been increased without altering the total but it was proved in the court there was one candidate whose marks had been increased both in viva-voice and in the total to include him into the final merit list.
The court held the view that the accused changed the marks of Zalam Singh one of the candidates, to grant him wrongful gain and include him into the final merit list and thereby committed offence of forgery punishable u/s 468 IPC as the forgery was committed, with a view to cheat the education department.