The Madras High Court bench here last week suspended the jail term awarded to a man charged with enrolling as an advocate in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu by submitting a bogus law degree.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan passed an interim order suspending the 15 months jail term awarded to R. Renold by the additional session’s court, Tirunelveli, while hearing Renold’s criminal revision petition. But the judge barred the petitioner from practising in any court pending disposal of the petition. In his petition, Mr. Renold claimed that the additional session’s judge convicted him under Section 471 of the Indian Penal Code on a charge-sheet filed by the inspector of CB-CID, Nagercoil, and awarded the jail term and a fine of Rs 1000.

The CB-CID had filed the charge-sheet based on a complaint submitted by the Bar Association of Nagercoil, he pointed out. Mr. Renold contended that the prosecution had submitted only a photocopy of his provisional certificate and not the original during the trial in the lower court. The prosecution, therefore, had failed to establish its case that the petitioner had submitted a forged document during his enrolment, he argued. He claimed that the jurisdiction to register a case against him and prosecute him lay in Chennai, and not Tirunelveli, because he had enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, which had its office in Chennai.

Justice Vaidyanathan heard the preliminary arguments of the counsel who appeared on behalf of the petitioner before issuing the interim order. The judge directed Mr. Renold to appear before the additional session’s court in Tirunelveli once a week pending disposal of the case.