GUNTUR: Criminal cases have been registered against five people for submitting forged degree certificates and practising as lawyers across Andhra Pradesh for the past 11 years. Sources said the State Bar Council launched a probe after receiving complaints about fake lawyers practising in various courts. Investigation revealed that 15 lawyers with suspicious credentials had been practising in the State.
The Bar Council then wrote letters to the universities the lawyers claimed to have completed their education from. The varsities informed the Bar Council that the said lawyers never enrolled in their institutes and that no certificate was issued to them. The probe prompted eight of the 15 ‘lawyers’ to surrender their enrolment voluntarily.
Bar Council Secretary Padmalatha later lodged two complaints with Thulluru police against five lawyers on January 11. Bikki Nageswara Rao and Macherla Venkateswara in Sattenapalli, K Srinivasa Rao in Kakinada, D Chamudeswari from Tenali, and Ch CSS Murthy from Tuni had been practising without completing their education.
Thulluru DSP Pothuraju said cases have been registered against the accused under IPC Sections 120B, 420 (Cheating), 467, 468 (Forgery) and 471 read with 34.
Special team to visit varsities as part of probe
Official e-mails have been sent to the managements of the universities to confirm the qualification of the accused. A special team would be formed and sent to Magadh University in Bihar, William Carey University in Shillong, Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu and Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, where the said lawyers have claimed to have completed their education, the DSP explained.
“Based on legal advice from officials, action would be initiated against the eight lawyers, who have surrendered their enrolment, for submitting forged documents and practising without having an appropriate degree for several years,” Pothuraju said.