A Nagpur court recently sentenced a senior official of the Oriental Insurance Company to undergo five years’ rigorous imprisonment for securing employment on the basis of a forged caste certificate. In a first case of its kind, the official will also have to cough up a fine of Rs 4,000.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had initiated a probe against Shekhar Bhaskar Londhekar, then development officer with the insurance firm, following a complaint against him. After it was confirmed that Londhekar had submitted a forged caste certificate stating that he belonged to the Scheduled Tribe, an offence under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine, a forged document) was registered against him.
It was found that in 1997, Londhekar had submitted a forged caste certificate to secure a job in Oriental Insurance. After a thorough investigation, the CBI filed a chargesheet in the court of the chief judicial magistrate. The court accepted the submissions made by the CBI and sentenced Londhekar to five years’ rigorous imprisonment.
This is for the first time that an official has been convicted for submitting forged caste certificate for securing a job in a government of India undertaking. “Even the state government should initiate criminal proceedings against those submitting bogus caste certificates,” a senior bureaucrat said.
He said in Maharashtra, quite a large number of students have secured admissions on the basis of bogus documents, but no action is taken against erring students. “We are cancelling their admissions or terminating their services. We feel that like CBI, we too should initiate criminal proceedings against them,” he said.
Further, the bureaucrat said the state government has set up caste verification certificates at divisional levels. “The committees should be empowered to initiate criminal proceedings against the erring students,” he said.