MHAA moves HC against CBI alleging 'harassment'

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Chennai, Jul 1 (UNI) The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) has filed a case against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for ''harassing'' the advocates, who give legal opinion to banks on immovable properties for the purpose of advancing loans.

In an intervening petition, seeking a direction to restrain the CBI from questioning them or filing cases against them when the documents were found faked or forged, the Association said advocates gave their opinion based on documents produced by the banks.

The documents, mostly xerox copies of the title deeds, were sent by the banks insisting that the advocates gave their opinion on title in a short span of time.

In most of the cases, the advocates might not even see the face of the borrower, the Association submitted.

When photo copies were made available, the advocates gave their opinion, subject to production of originals. The originals were produced to the banks after obtaining the opinion at the time of mortgage.

Whether banks accepted the opinion for advancing loans or took a security was not known to advocates. ''In some cases fake or forged documents or encumbrance certificates are produced, the advocates are not forensic experts to check the genuiness of the documents, ''the association said.

However, the CBI of late, on receipt of complaints from the concerned banks, filed cases against advocates who gave their opinion on immovable properties when the documents were found to be fake or forged.

Recently, cases were filed against two advoactes and charges were framed against them, the Association submitted and sought a direction to quash the cases against the advocates filed by CBI.

Based on complaints filed by Bank of India and Indian Bank that two of their borrowers had cheated them to the tune of Rs 4 crore by producing forged documents, the CBI filed cases against two advocates-Mr M V Chandran and E Kumar, who gave their opinion on the documents submitted by the two banks.

The CBI filed chargesheets against them in the Additional Chief Metropolitian Magistrate Court in Chennai. After the CMM court dismissed the discharge petition filed by the advocates, they had move the High Court.

The MHAA sought to implede them in the case. The petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow before Justice K Mohan Ram.

UNI XR/WS VV SW GC1935

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