Decided on April 20,2012

Dr. Vijay Kumar Chatterjee Appellant
State of Uttaranchal and another Respondents


Servesh Kumar Gupta, J. - (1.) BY means of this petition, a prayer has been made to quash the criminal proceedings of the criminal case no. 1706 of 2003 (State of Uttaranchal Vs. Vijay Kumar Chatterjee) and also to quash the charge sheet no. 81 of 2001 filed by the police on dated 06.05.2001 whereupon the learned Magistrate took cognizance in the matter on 06.10.2003 and asked the petitioner to stand trial for the offence under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC. Shunning the prolixity of detailed facts, it transpires that petitioner posing himself to be an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (for brevity hereinafter referred to as "Institute") started his office at Rishikesh in the name and style "S.V.A. Associates" (Chartered Accountants). For a number of years, he remained successful in doing his job, which can be done only by a Chartered Accountant relating to several firms and business houses located in Rishikesh and surroundings. The beans were spilled when one Chandra Shekhar, an authorized associate of the Institute started his practice in Rishikesh, then he came to know that a forged office afore -stated is being run by petitioner posing himself to be an authorized Chartered Accountant so as to adversely affect his job. He made a complaint to the Secretary of the Institute, at New Delhi disclosing all the facts of fabrication and cheating done by the petitioner. This letter was written by Chandra Shekhar on 08.05.1999, which is annexure no. 3 to the counter affidavit filed by respondent no. 2. The Institute based at New Delhi made a preliminary inquiry and found the allegations substantial, so lodged an FIR on 05.09.2000 against the petitioner, which is Annexure no. 1 to the petition. The investigation was conducted by the police, which resulted into submission of the charge sheet on 06.05.2001 whereupon cognizance has been taken, which is under challenge.
(2.) LEARNED counsel for the petitioner has argued that there was no cheating on the part of the petitioner, as envisaged under the Indian Penal Code. This argument is wholly against the formidable evidence available on record, which have been made as a part of the counter affidavit filed by respondent no. 2. From perusal of the record, the facts are abundantly clear that petitioner, one decade back, was working as Artisan Clerk with "A. Agarwalla and Company" based at Kolkata. This company was an associate of the Institute doing his business there. After leaving Kolkata, petitioner founded his office at Rishikesh and posed to the general public at large and also to the business houses that he is a perfect associate of the Institute and has full qualification for doing the job. He invited a number of business houses for preparing their balance sheets and doing other accounts work, which are and can only be done by an authorized Chartered Accountant. Not only this, he by using the registration number of "A. Agarwalla and Company" (supra) participated in several meetings organized by the Institute at New Delhi but also displayed the certificate of participation in such meetings in his office to make the business houses believed that he is an authorized Chartered Accountant. There are abundant evidence, which have been filed with the counter affidavit of respondent no. 2 (E.P. James), indicating the prima facie guilt of the petitioner. It has been argued on behalf of the petitioner that offence, if any, committed by the petitioner is punishable under Section 24 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 so he cannot be forced to face prosecution under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC. This argument is wholly untenable on the basis of law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Vs. Vimal Kumar Surana reported in : (2011) 1 SCC 534 having almost similar facts. The Court has held that in such matters simultaneous prosecution, for the offence under Section 24, 24 -A and 26 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 as well as for the offence under Section 419, 420, 465, 467, 473 IPC, is permitted. Simultaneous prosecution for the offence, as envisaged under the provisions of IPC cannot be disallowed. For the conspectus, what has been stated above, this petition is utterly meritless and liable to be dismissed. The petition is accordingly dismissed. The stay order dated 08.02.2005 granted by this Court is hereby vacated. Learned trial court is directed to proceed with trial expeditiously because it has already been delayed by way of filing this nefarious petition. However, it is further directed that any observation made by this Court will not prejudice the trial court.;

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