A Presiding Officer, who adjudicates cases at the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) II here, has written a sensational letter to the tribunal’s Bar association, claiming that the association’s president had tried to influence him to pass favorable orders in cases in which the lawyer appeared.
The officer, Jacob R Daniel, who is also the Head of Department at the Tribunal, also accused the lawyer of sending an anonymous complaint against him to the ministry of finance along with a doctored CD, which he claimed had recordings taken clandestinely by the lawyer.
In the letter written on June 26, a copy of which is with Express, the officer had alleged that the president of the DRT Bar Association, G S Desingu, had been seeking favourable orders irrespective of the merit of the cases in which the lawyer appeared.
Daniel claimed he resisted the pressure after which Desingu got cases shifted to DRT I and DRT III and tried the same ploy with the officers there as well.
Meanwhile, at a meeting in his chamber in January, he had brought to the notice of other office bearers of the association, Desingu’s attempt to exert pressure on him. Following this, the other office bearers brought Desingu to his chamber for talks.
The officer alleged that during this meeting, Desingu made clandestine recordings of the conversation, doctored it and forwarded the CD with a complaint to the ministry. This complaint was apparently brought to the notice of the officer by “some senior advocates” and he accessed the anonymous letter using the RTI Act.
“Considering the criminal act of recording conversation in my chamber and attempts to influence my staff and officers to tarnish my image.....I genuinely apprehend even danger to my life,” the letter read. Therefore, the officer requested the association to take fitting action against Desingu.
When Express contacted the DRT II office to confirm if the letter was genuine, it was informed that the officer “neither confirmed nor denied it”.When contacted over the phone, Desingu completely rejected the allegations and said he would initiate legal action for defamation.