Verification of Signatures from Punjab Forensic Science Agency

Verification of Signatures from Punjab Forensic Science Agency Anti-Corruption Case Laws Constitutional Law Criminal Law Forensic Science Agency Knowledge - Constitutional Law Knowledge - Criminal Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Solutions - Constitutional Law Solutions - Criminal Law Mr. Justice Farrukh Gulzar Awan in his judgment has decided the issue regarding verification of signatures from Punjab Forensic Science Agency in Writ Petition No. 2128 of 2016.

1. Mst. Safia Shafi has directed this constitutional petition under Article 199 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, assailing the legality of order dated 18.2.2016 passed by the respondent No.1/Director General Anti-Corruption Establishment, Punjab, Lahore through letter No.DAC-CR-II-2-32/16/3306 dated 18.02.2016 directing respondent No.3/Regional Director Anti-Corruption Establishment, Bahawalpur to get report from Punjab Forensic Science Agency regarding comparison of signature of the petitioner on the alleged forged Nikahnama.

2. Precisely, the facts necessary for disposal of the instant constitutional petition are that the petitioner was married with respondent No.4 on 09.05.2014 having registration of Nikahnama at Union Council No.4, Bahawalpur, with the detail of certain dower articles/property. She claimed the said Nikahnama being genuine and on the basis of said Nikahnama, she also filed a family suit for the recovery of maintenance allowance as well as dower. In the meanwhile, respondent No.4 got prepared another Nikahnama with the petitioner of the same date i.e. 09.05.2014 at Union Council No.5, Bahawalpur, mentioning therein the detail of dower of less value than the dower mentioned in Nikahnama registered at Union Council No.4. The matter was reported to the local police, who after registration of case, referred the same to the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Bahawalpur. After preliminary inquiry, the inquiry officers opined that respondent No.4, in order to avoid the conditions of dower contained in the Nikahnama registered at Union Council No.4, got prepared a forged Nikahnama at Union Council No.5 and judicial action was recommended against Qari Muhammad Javed, Nikah Registrar Union Council No.5, Abdul Qayum/respondent No.4, and the witnesses of the Nikah, Muhammad Bilal and Karim Bakhsh and Ex-post facto approval was sought. In the final report, it was observed that if expert opinion regarding signatures of both the said Nikahnamas is obtained from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency, the position would be cleared.

3. On receiving final report, respondent No.1 issued the impugned letter/order for getting expert opinion from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency in respect of signature of the petitioner on the alleged forged Nikahnama.

4. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner has filed this constitutional petition with the contention that respondent No.4, on getting photocopy of her old national identity card, got prepared the forged Nikahnama from Union Council No.5, Bahawalpur City in connivance with the Nikahkhwan and the field staff of the said Union Council and now respondent No.4, is using her signature, which she made on her new national identity card; that signature on the forged Nikahnama are of different characteristics as on the original one, so it is not a case of comparison, therefore, the expert opinion would be of no avail to the investigating agency and that respondent No.4 being influential person, would somehow manage expert report in his favour, therefore, there was no need for comparison of the signatures.

5. After hearing learned counsel for the petitioner and with the able assistance of learned Law Officer, I have observed that the matter was investigated twice by two different regions i.e. by the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Bahawalpur Region and the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Multan Region and in their reports, the Nikahnama prepared in the office of Union Council No.5, Bahawalpur, was found forged and judicial action was recommended against Qari Muhammad Javed Nikahkhawan, Abdul Qayum/respondent No.4 and Muhammad Bilal and Karim Bakhsh (witnesses of the Nikahnama) in both the said inquiries and Ex-post facto approval in this regard was sought. In the final report submitted by the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Multan Region, it was opined that the exact situation would come to dawn if signature of the petitioner on the alleged forged Nikahnama is got compared and expert opinion is obtained but the petitioner was not ready to get her signature compared for the reason that respondent No.4, being influential person, would manage favourable report. It is an admitted position that the petitioner herself claims her signatures being forged on the Nikahnama registered at Union Council No.5 and judicial action has been recommended against the field staff of the said Union Council. From the aforementioned facts and circumstances of the case, it is crystal clear that the impugned order does not infringe any fundamental right of the petitioner rather the expert opinion regarding comparison of her signature on the alleged forged Nikahnama, would be of more helpful to her version that the same is forged one. This Court, in constitutional jurisdiction, cannot interfere into the lawful process of inquiry, which is an early stage of the investigation, conducted by the competent authority, inventing the evidence to ascertain the nature of accusation and genuineness of the alleged forged document/Nikahnama, merely on the apprehension of the petitioner that respondent No.4, being influential person, would manage favourable expert opinion. Learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to point out any illegality or the transgress of powers by respondent No.1, while passing the impugned order, which is in accordance with law and cannot be interfered by this Court in the jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution ibid.

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