A special CBI Court recently ordered action against two advocates for misconduct after they gave false legal opinions in connection with land title investigation reports.
The directions came in the order in which the Court discharged one of the Lawyers, Akhilesh Naik, in a loan fraud case.
Akhilesh Naik was among those who were accused of being part of a conspiracy and cheating State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur & State Bank of Travancore to the tune of nearly Rs 14.2 Crore. The properties, for which the title investigation reports were furnished, were allegedly used as collateral and helped the main accused secure the loans fraudulently.
OBSERVATIONS OF THE COURT
The Court stated that there was no evidence to prove that Akhilesh Naik aided the other conspirators. “In the present case, there is no prima facie case against the accused to connect his nexus with the original conspirator in availing, sanctioning and disbursement of credit facility,” Special Judge SU Wadgaonkar said. However, it observed that Naik was liable for initiation of proceedings for commission of misconduct under the provisions of the Advocates Act. “It is to be noted that evidence on record clear cut proves that the accused committed deliberate acts while giving an opinion as an advocate which is known to be false to him which amounts to misconduct.”
The Court also noted that the other Lawyer, Prerana Deshpande, though on a similar footing as Naik, was earlier exonerated by the prosecution as they found no evidence against her. Among the 2 Lawyers, the prosecution had only charge-sheeted Naik.
The Court said a copy of the order with related papers should be forwarded to the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa for initiating necessary action against Naik & Deshpande. It also said that a copy be sent to the Indian Bank Association to ensure that both Lawyers not be empanelled with a bank. It said if they are already empanelled, then they should be ‘de-empaneled’.