HC refuses to quash FIR against Khan

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Sept 8: High Court today dismissed the petition of Commissioner /Secretary ARI and Training Department Mohammad Mehraj-ud-Din Khan seeking quashing of FIR lodged against him for tempering with his date of birth.
Justice M K Hanjura dismissed the petition of Khan with the conclusion that the investigation cannot be scuttled at this initial stage.
“The FIR in a case like the present one cannot be quashed promptly without allowing the Investigating Agency to investigate the case appropriately”, Justice Hanjura recorded in the order.
Court said the Supreme Court has in numerous rulings held that the FIR cannot be quashed at the threshold itself without allowing the investigation to proceed.
Court also made it clear that observation made in the order shall not be taken as an observation on merits and the investigating authority shall investigate the matter on its own strength.
Khan had sought indulgence of High Court by filing a petition seeking therein quashing the F.I.R bearing No. 37/2018 dated 31-08-2018, registered against him at Police Station, Crime Branch, Kashmir, for the commission of offences punishable under sections 420, 468, 471 RPC.
State counsel B A Dar (Sr.AAG) appearing for the respondents strenuously and vehemently argued that the petition cannot be maintained at this stage, when the investigation of the case is still at its infancy.
Court after assessing and evaluating said the FIR delineates that a communication was received from the Additional Secretary to the Government General Administration Department (GAD), depicting that as per the records available with the GAD, the date of birth of Mohammad Mehraj-ud-Din Khan – Commissioner/Secretary to Government, ARI & Training Department, is 09-11-1958.
Court said the petitioner-Khan has assailed the defensibility of the FIR registered against him on various counts which can be decided and determined on the culmination of the investiga tion of the case.
The allegations levelled against the petitioner, as is palpable from the perusal of the FIR, appear to be serious in nature, inasmuch as, it is stated that he tampered the date of birth in his service record with the aim and object to stay in the Government service for a longer period.
The FIR says that in view of the contradictory DoBs of the officer, the matter was referred to the Director, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for examination of the Service Book, vide communication dated 20-08-2018.
The FSL, in terms of its report dated 27-08-2018 opined that the insertion in the first page of the original Service Book has been made at a later stage and the Provisional Certificate in the original Service Book has been pasted on the typed certificate of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST).
Court said, the mandate of law justified that the matter should be investigated into its entirety without aborting it midway and it is only after the conclusion of the investigation of the case that a definite opinion can be framed in light of the grounds agitated and urged by the petitioner in this petition.
“It will be too early to comment as to which offence is, and which is not, made out in the case. Any comment on that count is not warranted to be made at this stage. It can be seen only after a full dressed investigation of the case”, Court recorded in the order.