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Central Forensic Science Lab to verify signature in Manthan and Rajarhat Cable dispute

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to check the genuineness of a signature at the heart of a dispute between Kolkata-based multi-system operator (MSO) Manthan Broadband Services and Rajarhat Cable Broadband Services (RCBS).

The dispute over signature came to light when a purported reconciliation statement dated 12 March 2015 was filed on behalf of RCBS under which the latter owed the petitioner only the sum of Rs 39.16 lakh (Rs 3.92 million).

According to RCBS, the reconciliation was made jointly by the two sides and the reconciliation statement was signed on behalf of the petitioner by one Sajal Mistry.

Manthan, however, denied that there was any joint reconciliation of accounts. The MSO further alleged that the so-called reconciliation statement was a fake document and the purported signature of Sajal Mistry on it was not genuine.

Despite the above statement made on behalf of the MSO on affidavit, RCBS continued to insist that the reconciliation statement was drawn up after a joint exercise and that it bore the signature of Sajal Mistry working as a senior manager with the petitioner company. RCBS too has taken this stand on affidavit.

Manthan counsel Navin Chawla produced the passport of Sajal Mistry bearing his signature.

Under these circumstances, the tribunal found it necessary to point out the genuineness or otherwise of the purported signature of Sajal Mistry on the reconciliation statement through a scientific process.

With the two sides taking diametrically opposite positions, the tribunal directed that the original copy of the reconciliation statement and the passport of Sajal Mistry, along with a copy of this order, be sent for forensic examination to the CFSL, New Delhi, in a sealed cover.

The tribunal directed CFSL to submit a report without any undue delay as to the genuineness of the signature of Mistry as appearing on the reconciliation statement.

The tribunal expects to receive the report within one month from 24 July. The matter has been put up under the same heading on 29 September.