Club’s lawyer Umesh Sharma also accused of furnishing false documents before the Court
Delhi Crown Bureau
New Delhi: Advocate Sunita Bhardwaj, a leading lady lawyer in Delhi, has filed a petition before the Patiala House Court demanding criminal proceedings be initiated against President of Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) of South Asia Munish Gupta, Club’s Assistant-Manager Chhaya Sharma and Club’s lawyer Advocate Umesh Sharma for furnishing “false affidavits and evidences” before the court in a two-year old case related to expulsion of a Governing Committee member.
The expulsion of the senior journalist, who was duly elected to the Governing Committee in the elections held at the Club in March 2021, was allegedly “managed and manipulated” by Munish Gupta on the advice of Adv. Umesh Sharma.
Notably, Munish Gupta is the real brother of Manoranjna Sinh, the estranged wife of former Congress leader and union cabinet minister Matang Sinh who died in Covid-19 second wave. Manoranjna Sinh was jailed for her alleged role in the infamous Saradha Scam that rocked the nation a decade ago.
Chhaya Sharma, the third accused as per the plaint before the Court, was “installed” into the Club by Munish Gupta on the “reference and advice” of Adv. Umesh Sharma, as both (Chhaya and Umesh) enjoyed “close relations”. Recently both were accused (by Adv. Umesh Sharma’s wife) of having “illicit relations”. The matter had attracted enough bad Press for the Club nearly a month ago.
In the complaint for initiation of proceedings under section 340 CrPC against the three “accused” Chhaya Sharma, Umesh Sharma and Munish Gupta, the lady lawyer mentioned that the trio had committed criminal offences under Sections 193, 195, 197, 199, 200, 209, 211 and 471 IPC.
In her plaint filed before the Civil Judge Swati Gupta, Advocate Sunita Bhardwaj alleged that the three accused persons had “intentionally given false evidence” in judicial proceedings, and had “fabricated false evidence” for the purpose of being used in judicial proceedings, and hence had “committed offences of punishment for giving false evidence before the Court and are liable to be convicted for the offences”.
“The three accused are liable to be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy to commit such offences,” maintained Adv. Sunita in her plaint.
The plaint was filed on Monday (Feb. 20) and is yet to come up for hearing before the Court. The Next Date of Hearing (NDOH) is also yet to be fixed by the Court. Meanwhile, the same Court is also yet to decide the fate of the expelled member. “Advocate Umesh Sharma managed to mislead the court in getting that order dated Feb. 16 restraining the expelled member from entering the Club for 4 days from Feb. 16, despite the fact that the NDOH was already fixed for Feb. 20,” according to a source close to the lady lawyer.
It has been alleged that Chhaya Sharma furnished two separate Affidavits before the Court of Civil Judge Swati Gupta. In one of the affidavits Chhaya Sharma claimed she was the Club’s Manager and was aged 41 years, while in another she claimed that she was the Assistant Manager and was aged 47 years. “Moreover there is no resolution from the Club’s Governing Committee that authorises Chhaya Sharma to represent the Club before the Court or any proceedings thereof,” mentioned Adv. Sunita Bhardwaj in her plaint.
She further said in her plaint that the Club’s lawyer Adv. Umesh Sharma had “fabricated false evidence in support of Chhaya Sharma and had “identified” her in the said Affidavit knowing fully-well that the contents stated by Chhaya Sharma on oath are false to the knowledge of Chhaya Sharma and Umesh Sharma, and hence are liable to be punished offences as defined under Section 193, 195, 197, 199, 200, 209, 211 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code accordingly.”
The lady lawyer also accused Munish Gupta, Chhaya Sharma and Umesh Sharma for putting undue pressure on a Lady Guard posted at the Club for signing a false complaint against the “expelled member”. “And, when the Lady Guard refused to sign any such document, a false complaint addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in her name was appended in the Civil Suit against the expelled member of the Governing Committee. The said false complaint in the name of the Lady Guard is neither signed by the lady guard nor received by the DCP office.”
In the plaint the lady lawyer demanded that the three accused shall be punished under Section 209 IPC which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to monetary fine.