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Police officer botches up fraud case probe
Sanjoy Ray
 GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - In what appears to be a botched-up probe into a high-profile fraud case, police ended up leaving out the name of the prime accused in the chargesheet, despite the Gauhati High Court earlier acknowledging production of sufficient incriminating materials against the accused by the investigators themselves. Worse, the name of the actual complainant (first informant), too, did not find a place in the requisite column and instead it was replaced by someone else’s name.

The case relates to a complaint lodged by one Syed Mursidul Arfin with the Dispur PS on January 1 last year alleging that Mahibur Rahman, an employee in the State Secretariat, had duped him and others of Rs 60 lakh, promising to provide jobs in the water resources and irrigation departments.

But surprisingly, the investigating officer (IO) had not just kept the prime accused out of the ambit of investigation, he had gone on to remove the main charge against him levelled under Section 420 of IPC. Initially, the case (2359/16) under Section 420/406 was registered.

In view of the recorded statements of the witnesses and evidence provided by the IO himself, the court had rejected the pre-arrest bail application of the accused twice.

Legal experts say that as it was primarily a case of fraudulent act, there is hardly any legal justification behind lifting of Section 420 of IPC. “There is definitely something fishy. The entire case has turned out to be a hotchpotch done apparently with ulterior motives to benefit the accused in the FIR who duped the first informant and others to the tune of 60 lakh,” said a source privy to the probe.

Instead of Section 420, the IO of the case, SI B Choudhury of Dispur PS, named some other accused under Sections 294/447/506 and 34 of the IPC.

“During the latest hearing of the pre-arrest bail plea of Rahman, the defence counsel made submissions that the chargesheet had already been submitted, which should have actually been done by the public prosecutor. It might also be a case of misleading the court as there was apparently no mention about the fact that the petitioner’s name itself was not included in the chargesheet,” sources claimed. The IO had named five accused in the chargesheet.

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