Alleged Forgery and Misrepresentation: Discrepancies in BPCL Petrol Pump’s Diesel Storage Reported to PESO
Question: Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) issues license to Bharat Petroleum Corporation's petrol pumps for storage of Petrol/Diesel. A petrol pump of BPCL illegally filled diesel in a tanker beyond the permissible limits for which a complaint was lodged by me with PESO. PESO asked for an explanation. In its reply, the BPCL officer under reported the quantity of diesel filled in the tanker and in support of his claim, submitted a forged sales data which was prepared after deleting sales entries from the computerised records. The fact that the sales data was forged was brought to the notice of PESO by me after PESO shared BPCL's reply with me. PESO again questioned BPCL to which they confirmed that their dealer had deleted entries from the data. Subsequently, PESO has written to the police to take action under the Petroleum Act according to which the offence is bailable whereas I am asking PESO to file an FIR since forgery of data, preparation of a false document and its use as a genuine one is a serious offence under the IPC. The PESO officer refuses to do so. Is he right in not filing an FIR ? Am I unjustified in demanding an FIR in the matter ?
Your stand is correct because the accused has committed offence of forgery and prepared an instrument to prove his innocence. In this case the proper course of action would be to lodge an FIR. However, if the proceeding has been initiated under the Petrolium Act, the court has the power to add relevant section if found that accused has committed a crime.
It is better for you to recommend FIR because it at any stage your credibility is examine you defend yourself. In the departmental recommendation soundness and reasonableness are the key factors. So, you should protect yourself from any future perversity by recommending FIR.