Madras High Court thwarts fake lawyer’s attempts to usurp millionaire boy’s assets

The HC realised the machinations of the fake lawyer and his wife while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the boy’s adopted mother seeking his custody.
Madras High Court. (File photo)
Madras High Court. (File photo)

CHENNAI: Coming to the rescue of a multimillionaire boy suffering from a locomotor disability, the Madras High Court has thwarted the attempts of a fake lawyer, his wife, and another lawyer to usurp multiple properties of the boy through fraudulent means. The court has also appointed two lawyers as guardians of the child and ordered a complete probe into the forgery case.   

The HC realised the machinations of the fake lawyer and his wife while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the boy’s adopted mother seeking his custody. The petition filed by Shanthi, who legally adopted Dheeraj Maal in 2006 when he was just a year old, said a woman named Ramya took away the child from her claiming that she is the stepsister of the boy. The woman’s husband, Babu @ Babu Sanjeevi, had said he was a lawyer.

Doubting his claim of obtaining a law degree from Bharathidasan University, the division bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and AD Bharatha Chakravarthy directed the central crime branch (CCB) of the Chennai City Police to investigate the matter. Upon finding his certificate to be fake, police arrested Babu for forgery and later slapped Goondas Act on him. The court later quashed the Goondas Act.

The documents produced by Ramya claiming that she was born to the first wife of Dheeraj Maal’s father Pandurangan, a retired official of the Chennai Port Trust, were also found to be fabricated. The role of advocate Sri Muruga, who was a member of the enrolment and disciplinary committees of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, was also under a cloud. Later, Sri Muruga and another advocate Michael Stanis Prabhu resigned from their posts.

During the course of the hearing, it was found that the fake lawyer, his wife and Sri Muruga had hatched a plan to usurp nine properties inherited by Dheeraj Maal at Kolathur, Guduvanchery and Tiruvallur. Finding the adoption deed produced by Shanthi as valid, the bench ordered that the boy be kept under her care and be admitted to a school.

The court also appointed senior counsel MK Kabir and advocate Chitra Narayanan as guardians as they agreed to provide their services pro bono and were requested to monitor the upkeep of Dheeraj Maal. The bench directed the CCB to continue its investigation of forgery and take it to its logical conclusion and instructed the Bar Council to take action against the lawyers as per court orders.

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