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Employee Cannot Initiate Criminal Proceedings After Termination To Arm Twist Employer: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
7 Oct 2022 7:28 AM GMT
Employee Cannot Initiate Criminal Proceedings After Termination To Arm Twist Employer: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has said that an employee, who is terminated from the organisation, cannot initiate criminal proceedings against the organisation for the alleged criminal breach of trust and cheating.

A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna allowed the petition filed by one Samiulla B and quashed the case pending against him before the IV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru. Sti Mutturaj G.S., the employee had filed an FIR for offences punishable under Sections 420, 406, 506, 149 of the IPC against the petitioner and others.

The employee of TTC News Channel was terminated in 2018 by the organisation along with others on account of a purported financial crisis. After the termination, the employee lodged the police complaint against the petitioner alleging that he was terminated without following due process of law.

Findings

The bench referred to the notice issued by the organisation to its employees which stated that the news channel had suffered repetitive and recurring losses and consequently the Board of Directors decided to suspend the operations of the business till further notice.

"The notice clearly indicated that the employees will be terminated due to lack of work and funds to run the TV news channel and would be hiring them back if they become financially capable to resume the operations," said the court.

The court also said if the complainant was a workman in the organisation and had been terminated without following due process of law, it was open for him to initiate proceedings under the relevant provisions before the appropriate forum.

Instead, the court added, he set the criminal law in motion, that too for the offences under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

"Both these offences under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC which deal with criminal breach of trust and cheating which have their ingredients in Sections 405 and 415 of the IPC respectively, cannot be seen to be remotely made out in the case at hand," said the court

Allowing the petition, the court said the case at hand is the one where the termination of the complainant happened pursuant to the losses incurred by the petitioner or the TTC news channel.

"Therefore, the criminal proceedings to be initiated as an alternate method to arm twist the petitioner instead of knocking the doors of an appropriate Court for an appropriate relief, cannot be permitted to continue, as it would result in abuse of the process of law and miscarriage of justice," said the bench.

Case Title: SAMIULLA B v. State of Karnataka

Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 9520 OF 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 391

Date of Order: 19TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2022

Appearance: AFSAR AHMED S., ADVOCATE for petitioner

K.S.ABHIJITH, HCGP FOR R1

Click Here To Read/Download Order




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