The retired judge of Karnataka and Bombay High Courts was booked for cheating and forgery by the Mumbai police after he allegedly siphoned Rs 2.29 crore from the bank account of his deceased elder brother Patrick Saldanha, who was in charge of finance and accounts of a large corporate group before he died of heart attack on February 18, 2016, at an age of 81 years.
According to a report appearing in The Indian Express on September 15, 2016, a case of cheating, forgery, criminal intimidation using anonymous communication and criminal conspiracy was filed by the HSBC Bank at the Azad Maidan police station on September 8, 2016, against retired Justice Michael Saldanha, his bother Mark Saldanha, Cuffe Parade residents Quraish Morbiwala, Rathna Lobo, and Jagdambaprasad Paswan, who was a domestic staff member of the deceased.
After the death of Patrick Saldanha, senior police officers said the bank complained that his brothers, Michael and Mark, nominees to his account, falsely represented to the bank that he was alive.
“They prepared a fake power of attorney and issued 34 delivery instruction slips with forged signatures of the deceased to transfer Rs 2.29 crore into their own bank accounts,” an official said.
https://t.co/h6mrcOofpO— Real Facts Today (@RealFactsToday1) August 9, 2020
The Big, Fat Scam: Unveiling Justice Micheal Saldanha's Rs 2.29 crore scam of siphoning from the bank account of his deceased elder brother. #FatherofCorruption #bombayhc #MFSaldanha #HSBC #ScamAlert #Scamdemic
The alleged fraud, the police said, took place between February and August of 2016. After receiving documents in which the accused had allegedly used threatening language, the bank filed a criminal complaint with the police on September 8, 2016, realizing that it had been cheated.
The news report further added that Justice Saldanha lives in Bengaluru, as does Mark, who is also retired. When contacted, the retired judge said he was unaware of the criminal complaint. “Why should we do this? I have been a lawyer and judge for many years. It is quite shocking to me. I don’t know what the bank’s grievance is. Nobody has contacted me,” he said.
Justice Saldanha served as a judge at the Bombay High Court between 1990 and 1994 and was later transferred to the Karnataka High Court, where he served until his retirement in 2004. After retiring, he had headed the Saldanha Commission that investigated the attacks on Christians in Karnataka in 2008. In his 2011 report, he had concluded that the attacks were pre-planned and sponsored by the BJP-led state government.
Most people knew retired Justice M F Saldanha as an upright judge. Few knew he had a far-from-honest side to his personality, which landed him in a cheating case booked by the Mumbai police after the HSBC Bank in Mumbai lodged a complaint. The retired judge apparently showed little compunction when he, along with his brother Mark Saldanha, impersonated, forged and cheated, to transfer to his account the money of his deceased brother.
The bank officials refused to be cowed down by the threatening language used by the retired judge and booked him for cheating, fraud, impersonation and forgery among other things.