Sir, "A" has submitted an agreement to the arbitral tribunal claiming to have been executed by "B" . The said agreement also bears stamp and signatures and attestation by a notary public . But there is no register entry number of the said notary public . " B " has denied the execution of the said agreement . The tribunal in collusion with “A” passed a arbitral award in favour of “A” . Challenged u/s -34 of A & C Act . RTI filed by "B" for knowing the genuineness of the notarisation by the said notary public . In reply the said notary public denies the attestation/ notarisation of the said agreement and provided the copy of his notary register which do not have any entry of the attestation of the said agreement by the said notary public . Queries : 1. Is still the agreement valid and legal document 2. What crimes have been committed by “A” by manufacturing and faking the attestation by notary ? 3. What should be the course of action? “B”
Answer to query 1: Since the agreement bears the stamp and signatures of a notary public and the Notarial Seal acts as a seal of verification meaning that the facts mentioned and the signatures on the document are indeed authentic. It also acts as validation for the fact that the identities of the people signing the document have been verified. In any legal proceeding, a Notary seal, if present on a document, will act as confirmation for the courts that the signatures were placed by a genuine person and not forged or fabricated. It also acts as proof that the individual was not forced into signing it. As one of the many functions of a Notary Public is to witness the document being signed, notarization renders a document authentic, true and voluntarily drafted in many senses. So, as long as it is not declared forged by any court of law the agreement is valid and legal.
Answer to query 2: A in forging the signatures of B and Notary with an intention to get the arbitral award in his favour has committed offence under section 120(B) read with section 420, 467, 468 read with section 471 of IPC.
Answer to query 3: The arbitral award is already challenged u/s -34 of A & C Act. In Rajesh Tiwari v. Motilal Oswal Financial Services ltd. Mumbai & anr. 2013 SCC online Bom. 2 it was held that the validity of agreement should also be challenged where the agreement was executed on 14 December, 2007 on the expired stamp-paper. The issue is also with regard to the alleged Power of Attorney. Having statement of 11.06.2007 and signed on 11.10.2007, there is a denial even to the signature before the Notary. The submission of forgery and fabrication was also not dealt with by the Arbitrator. Due to the above mentioned reasons, the matter was remanded by the Hon'ble High Court at Bombay. In Sahyadri Earthmovers V. L & T Finance , 2011 (4) Mh.L.J. 200 the Court observed that it is the duty of an Arbitrator to give equal opportunity to both the parties and therefore he is bound to follow the principles of natural justice, fair play and equity. It was also contended that the Arbitral Tribunal should determine admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of any evidence before passing the award.
Further a police complaint should be lodged against A as he had fraudulently manufactured the agreement without the original signature and knowledge of B and Notary.
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