Bank accounts of HC ex-judge frozen for “impersonation and fraud”

by samreen

The Azad Maidan police in Mumbai, probing a cheating and forgery case involving former judge of Karnataka and Bombay High Court Justice Michael Saldanha (74) and his younger brother Mark (70), has frozen several of their bank accounts and blocked the accounts they had been operating for mutual funds.


The HSBC Bank complained to the Azad Maidan police which booked the Saldanhas for allegedly siphoning Rs 2.29 crore worth shares from their deceased elder brother Patrick’s demat account and transferring the proceeds to their accounts. The sessions court had earlier rejected their plea, holding that they “illegally and fraudulently and by forging and impersonation transferred a huge amount” from their brother’s account, according to a report appearing in Times of India dated May 31, 2017.

Last October (2016), the Bombay HC granted interim anticipatory bail to Michael and Mark. “While the siphoned money was kept in some bank accounts, a portion of it was invested in mutual funds. We wrote to the banks concerned and froze the accounts. We also got the mutual funds blocked,” said an officer.

“There are other accused too who forged documents like power of attorney after the death of their brother (Patrick),” said the officer. Patrick (81) died on February 18, 2016. The prosecution said the shares were without documents like heirship certificate or will, and by representing that Patrick was alive between February 18-August 18, they presented forged delivery slips, cheques and a power of attorney. Michael Saldanha was a Bombay HC judge between 1990-94 and Karnataka HC judge till retirement in 2004.


Retired judge Michael F Saldanha, who managed to siphon the funds from his deceased brother Patrick Saldanha’s bank account, was outsmarted by the Mumbai police, which moved swiftly to freeze the bank accounts of the retired judge and his brother and partner in crime Mark Saldanha.
The investigation into the case, which began after HSBC bank complained to Azad Maidan police in Mumbai, also saw some more skeletons tumble out of the cupboard when the police stumbled upon forged documents like power of attorney prepared after the death of their brother Patrick, all pointing an accusing finger at the retired judge.




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