Regulators

Forensic lab to verify individual's signatures to decide on MSO-LCO dispute

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NEW DELHI: In a rare order, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) has sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), New Delhi, two samples of the signatures of an individual to verify whether one is forged as alleged.

Even as a case by Manthan Broadband Services for recovery of certain amounts from Rajarhat Cable Broadband Services was at the threshold stage, the latter produced a purported reconciliation statement dated 12 March, 2015 under which it owed Manthan only a sum of Rs 39,16,407. This statement was contested by Manthan, which also said that the signatures of one Sajal Mistry were forged. As proof, it presented the passport of Mistry.

TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava said they "hoped and expected that the report will be received within one month."

The matter has now been put up for hearing on 29 September and Manthan has been asked to file its rejoinder to the reply filed by Rajarhat and reply to the counter-claim filed by Rajarhat.

Manthan denied there was any joint reconciliation of accounts. It took the stand that the so-called reconciliation statement was a fake document and the purported signature of Mistry on it was not genuine.

Despite the above statement made on behalf of Manthan, Rajarhat continued to insist that the reconciliation statement was drawn up after a joint exercise and it bore Mistry's signature working as senior manager with Manthan. 

The Tribunal noted that the two sides were taking diametrically opposite positions on a simple issue of fact and it was clear that one of them is making incorrect statements willfully on oath. 

“In these circumstances, it becomes necessary to find out the genuineness or otherwise of the purported signature of Sajal Mistry on the reconciliation statement dated 12 March, 2015 through a scientific process,” TDSAT said.

Manthan’s counsel produced Mistry’s passport, which “naturally bears his signature that cannot be disputed on any count.”

The Tribunal accordingly decided to have the signatures on the agreement and the passport verified by the CFSL. 

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