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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quash - Private complaint - Ex-employees filed criminal complaint against the company on criminal charges - Magistrate took cognizance - petition for quash dismissed by High court - again filed the again dismissed - Apex court directed to pay the amounts of complainants and set aside the orders of magistrate and quashed the complaint = J.L. Soman & Ors. ... Appellants Vs. State of Bihar & Anr. ... Respondents = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=41100

   Quash - Private complaint - Ex-employees filed criminal complaint against the company on criminal charges - Magistrate took cognizance - petition for quash dismissed by High court - again filed the again dismissed - Apex court directed to pay the amounts of complainants and set aside the orders of magistrate and quashed the complaint = 
The complainants resigned  from  their  services  from  the  aforesaid
Company  on  03.02.2003,  04.02.2003   and   04.02.2003   respectively.   On
resignation, they claimed full and  final  settlement  and  claimed  salary,
bonus, leave encashment, gratuity etc. which were allegedly due to  them  by
the  Company.  The  appellants,  on  the  other  hand,  alleged   that   the
complainants had allowed misappropriation of stocks  and  payments  received
from customers, allowed accumulation of  outstanding  dues  to  the  Company
against goods sold by allowing indiscriminate sales and did not recover  the
huge outstanding amounts although it was promised. Due to this,  their  full
and final settlement of accounts was  kept  pending  by  the  Company.   The
complainants denied the allegations and filed  criminal  complaints  against
the appellants alleging cheating and forgery, among other offences.

5.    By orders dated 02.05.2006,  24.4.2006  and  25.4.2006,  the  Judicial
Magistrate First Class, Gaya, took cognizance of the  offences  against  the
appellants punishable under Sections 418, 504 and 120B of the  Indian  Penal
Code and issued summons and warrants to them. The appellants filed  criminal
misc. petitions before the High Court under  Section  482  of  the  Criminal
Procedure Code (“Cr.P.C.” in short)  seeking  for  quashing  of  the  entire
proceedings on the file of the  learned  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class
including taking of cognizance vide the aforesaid orders =

The
allegations were made  against  the  appellants  that  they  have  committed
offences punishable under the aforesaid provisions of the IPC and  as  their
claims made with the Company have not been settled, 
we  therefore,  directed
the appellants’ counsel to ascertain as to what exactly is  the  amount  due
to each one of the  contesting  respondents-complainants  in  these  appeals
from the company. 
In the course of submissions, learned senior  counsel  Mr.
Nagendra Rai on 06.12.2013, made a categorical submission that the  Company,
in which the  contesting  respondents  have  been  working,  is  willing  to
settle their claim by giving a sum of      [pic]1,00,000/- to  each  one  of
them. 
His submission is placed on record, and  we  have  perused  the  same,
having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and the  fact  that
the contesting respondent in each one  of  these  appeals  has  claimed  his
monetary benefits under various heads as mentioned in their  complaints.  It
would suffice for this Court to pass an order directing the Company and  the
appellants to see that the amount  of  [pic]1,20,000/-  in  relation  to  S.
Burman,            [pic]1,10,000/-   in   relation   to    Rajnikant,    and
[pic]1,00,000/- in relation to Sanjay  Kumar Sinha is paid towards full  and
final submission of all their claims,  by  issuing  demand  draft  in  their
favour within two weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of  this  order
failing which the appellants/Company will be liable to pay  an  interest  at
the rate of  9%  per  annum  on  the  above  said  sums  from  the  date  of
resignation by the complainants  till  the  date  of  payment.  
Further,  we
direct the  appellants/Company  not  to  write  any  letter  either  to  the
employer where the contesting respondents are  working  at  present  or  any
letter to whomsoever to  disturb  their  employment  with  their  respective
employer. 
We hereby set aside the orders  dated  02.05.2006,  24.4.2006  and
25.4.2006, passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gaya,  whereby  he
took cognizance of the offences punishable under Sections 418, 504 and  120B
of the Indian Penal Code and issued summons and warrants. We also quash  the
proceedings arising out of the complaint case Nos. 315 of 2006, 319 of  2006
and 374 of 2006 before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gaya, Bihar.

12.   In view of the  above  directions  given  to  the  appellants/Company,
these appeals are disposed of.       

                                          NON-REPORTABLE

           IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA            CRIMINAL APPELLATE
                                JURISDICTION



                          CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2114 2013
                 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 1233 of 2012)
J.L. Soman & Ors.                            ... Appellants

                             Vs.

State of Bihar & Anr.                       ... Respondents

                                    WITH

  CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2115 2013                         (Arising out of SLP
                           (Crl.) No.1232 of 2012)

                                     AND

  CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2116 2013                         (Arising out of SLP
                           (Crl.) No.1234 of 2012)





                                  O R D E R



V.Gopala Gowda,J.

      Leave granted.

2.    These criminal appeals have been filed by the appellants as  they  are
aggrieved by the final common judgment and order dated 29.07.2011 passed  by
the High Court of Judicature at Patna dismissing  their  petitions  for  the
reason that their earlier criminal  misc.  petitions  were  dismissed  by  a
common order dated 12.06.2007  after  hearing  the  parties  which  fact  is
admitted by the appellants but they again  approached  the  High  Court  for
similar relief. Hence, the High Court was not  inclined  to  interfere  with
the same in the said  criminal  misc.  petitions  and  dismissed  the  same.
Aggrieved by the said orders passed in Criminal Misc.  Case  Nos.  15687  of
2011, 16326 of 2011 and 15681 of 2011,  these  criminal  appeals  have  been
filed by the appellants urging  various  facts  and  legal  contentions  and
prayed to set aside the impugned order and quash the  proceedings  initiated
against the appellants after  taking  cognizance  of  the  offences  alleged
against them by the respondents/complainants in these appeals.

3.    The necessary facts of the case are stated hereunder:-

      The appellants, namely, J.L. Soman, K.D.P. Murty  and  T.K.  Mukherjee
were working as the Managing  Director,  General  Manager  and  Distribution
Manager respectively, at Uni-Sankyo Ltd.,  a  limited  Company,  during  the
period of service of the complainants, namely, Sidharth Burman,  S.K.  Sinha
and Rajnikant who have been arrayed as respondent  No.2  in  the  respective
criminal appeals.

4.    The complainants resigned  from  their  services  from  the  aforesaid
Company  on  03.02.2003,  04.02.2003   and   04.02.2003   respectively.   On
resignation, they claimed full and  final  settlement  and  claimed  salary,
bonus, leave encashment, gratuity etc. which were allegedly due to  them  by
the  Company.  The  appellants,  on  the  other  hand,  alleged   that   the
complainants had allowed misappropriation of stocks  and  payments  received
from customers, allowed accumulation of  outstanding  dues  to  the  Company
against goods sold by allowing indiscriminate sales and did not recover  the
huge outstanding amounts although it was promised. Due to this,  their  full
and final settlement of accounts was  kept  pending  by  the  Company.   The
complainants denied the allegations and filed  criminal  complaints  against
the appellants alleging cheating and forgery, among other offences.

5.    By orders dated 02.05.2006,  24.4.2006  and  25.4.2006,  the  Judicial
Magistrate First Class, Gaya, took cognizance of the  offences  against  the
appellants punishable under Sections 418, 504 and 120B of the  Indian  Penal
Code and issued summons and warrants to them. The appellants filed  criminal
misc. petitions before the High Court under  Section  482  of  the  Criminal
Procedure Code (“Cr.P.C.” in short)  seeking  for  quashing  of  the  entire
proceedings on the file of the  learned  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class
including taking of cognizance vide the aforesaid orders.   The  High  Court
disposed of those petitions vide common order dated 12.06.2007  in  Criminal
Misc. Nos. 23569 of 2007, 25544 of 2007 and 25546 of 2007 with  a  direction
to the appellants to appear in the court below within  four  weeks  ordering
their prayer to be considered. The appellants contend that  the  High  Court
vide order dated  12.06.2007  did  not  adjudicate  on  the  correctness  or
otherwise of the orders dated 02.05.2006, 24.4.2006 &  25.4.2006  and  again
filed criminal miscellaneous petitions before the High  Court  for  quashing
of the entire proceedings including  aforementioned  orders  of  cognizance.
The High Court dismissed the same vide order dated 29.07.2011  stating  that
appellants had approached the High Court earlier  seeking  the  same  relief
and the same was disposed of. Aggrieved by the  same,  the  present  appeals
have been filed by the appellants urging certain grounds.

6.    When these cases were listed for admission after notice,  the  learned
senior  counsel  for  the  appellants  Mr.  Nagendra  Rai,  agreed  for  the
observations made by this Court during the course  of  his  submissions,  to
verify from the records of the Company in which  the  second  respondent  in
each one of these criminal appeals  were working, as  to  what  exactly  the
monetary benefits due to them by the  Company  are  with  reference  to  the
claim made by each one of them  which  are  mentioned  in  detail  in  their
private complaints filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, First  Class,
for certain offences alleged to have been committed by the appellants  under
Sections 420,468,504,  120B,  406/34  of  the  IPC  in  complaint  case  No.
mentioned in the table below, the monetary dues from  the  Company  is  also
mentioned in the relevant column of the table :

|Sl.No.   |Name                |Complaint case  |Amount claimed       |
|         |                    |No.             |                     |
|1        |Sidharth Burman     |315 of 2006     |[pic] 1,66,335/-     |
|2        |S.K. Sinha          |319 of 2006     |[pic] 1,18,178/-     |
|3        |Rajnikant           |374 of 2006     |[pic] 1,48,008/-     |


7.    A detailed statement of affidavit was directed to  be  filed  by  them
when these matters were listed for admission after issue of notice  by  this
Court.  The affidavit of K.D.P Murty s/o late K.S.Murty, General Manager  of
Uni-Sankyo Ltd., resident of B.N.R. Apartment, Hyderabad was  filed  stating
certain  relevant  facts  in  relation  to  these  appeals  questioning  and
challenging the common order dated 29.07.2011 passed by the  High  Court  of
Judicature at Patna filed under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. seeking to  quash
the entire proceedings initiated against the appellants  by  the  contesting
respondents before the  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class,  Gaya.  In  the
affidavit, the claims of each one of the contesting  respondents  have  been
mentioned along with the reasons  in  relation  to  their  resignation  from
their services and also alleged the damage caused by each  one  of  them  to
the Company which are not required to be adverted to in this order  in  view
of the stand  taken  by  the  appellants  in  the  affidavit  filed  by  the
aforesaid person at para 4 which reads thus:

        “4. In any view  petitioner with utmost veneration state  that  the
        petitioner is ready to abide by and accept any  order/direction  of
        this Hon’ble Court to put an end to this vexatious litigation which
        has travelled up to this court, wherein criminal law has  been  set
        in motion.”




8.    However, as could be seen from the averments made in the complaint  by
each one of  the  contesting  respondents-complainants  herein  against  the
appellants, it is alleged that the appellants  had  committed  cheating  and
forgery against the contesting respondents-complainants  with  a  motive  to
grab the amount, the details  of  which  are  mentioned  in  the  complaint.
Before  the  Judicial  Magistrate  First  Class  some  of  the  respondents-
complainants  were  examined  as  witnesses  before  taking  cognizance  and
issuing summons, and after recording their statements, it is alleged by  the
appellants that on incorrect appreciation of material  available  on  record
and lack of application of  mind,  the  learned  Judicial  Magistrate  First
Class was pleased to take cognizance for offences punishable under  Sections
418, 504 and 120B of the IPC  against  the  appellants  and  issued  summons
without serving the same on them and  without  following  the  procedure  as
required under Sections 82 and 83 of the Cr.P.C., the non-bailable  warrants
were issued to the  appellants  for  their  appearance  before  the  learned
Judicial Magistrate First Class in the proceedings.

9.    The correctness of the same was challenged by  the  appellants  before
the High Court of Judicature at Patna  by  filing  criminal  misc.  petition
Nos. 23569 of 2007, 25544 of 2007 and 25546 of 2007. The  same  came  to  be
disposed  of  by  common  order  on  12.06.2007  with  a  direction  to  the
appellants to appear before the learned Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class,
within four weeks whereby their petition under  Section  205  for  recalling
the warrant of arrest as  also  the  attachment  order  may  be  considered.
Thereafter, the cognizance taken in the proceedings was  challenged  by  the
appellants in  the second  round  of  misc.  petitions,  which  came  to  be
dismissed vide common  order  dated  29.07.2011  for  the  reason  that  the
appellants had earlier approached the High Court as stated by them  in  para
2 of their petitions. Therefore, the learned single Judge was  not  inclined
to interfere with the above said petitions and the same were dismissed.  The
said orders are challenged before this Court in these criminal appeals.

10.   This Court after condoning the delay on 06.02.2012  issued  notice  in
all these cases and passed an interim order staying  the  operation  of  the
orders dated 02.05.2006, 24.04.2006 and 25.04.2006 in  complaint  case  Nos.
315, 319  and 374 of 2006 respectively, passed by the  Judicial  Magistrate,
First Class, Gaya, Bihar.

11.    We have perused the impugned order and also the complaints  filed  by
the  contesting  respondent-complainants  in  these  criminal  appeals.
The
allegations were made  against  the  appellants  that  they  have  committed
offences punishable under the aforesaid provisions of the IPC and  as  their
claims made with the Company have not been settled,
we  therefore,  directed
the appellants’ counsel to ascertain as to what exactly is  the  amount  due
to each one of the  contesting  respondents-complainants  in  these  appeals
from the company.
In the course of submissions, learned senior  counsel  Mr.
Nagendra Rai on 06.12.2013, made a categorical submission that the  Company,
in which the  contesting  respondents  have  been  working,  is  willing  to
settle their claim by giving a sum of      [pic]1,00,000/- to  each  one  of
them. 
His submission is placed on record, and  we  have  perused  the  same,
having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and the  fact  that
the contesting respondent in each one  of  these  appeals  has  claimed  his
monetary benefits under various heads as mentioned in their  complaints.  It
would suffice for this Court to pass an order directing the Company and  the
appellants to see that the amount  of  [pic]1,20,000/-  in  relation  to  S.
Burman,            [pic]1,10,000/-   in   relation   to    Rajnikant,    and
[pic]1,00,000/- in relation to Sanjay  Kumar Sinha is paid towards full  and
final submission of all their claims,  by  issuing  demand  draft  in  their
favour within two weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of  this  order
failing which the appellants/Company will be liable to pay  an  interest  at
the rate of  9%  per  annum  on  the  above  said  sums  from  the  date  of
resignation by the complainants  till  the  date  of  payment.  
Further,  we
direct the  appellants/Company  not  to  write  any  letter  either  to  the
employer where the contesting respondents are  working  at  present  or  any
letter to whomsoever to  disturb  their  employment  with  their  respective
employer. 
We hereby set aside the orders  dated  02.05.2006,  24.4.2006  and
25.4.2006, passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gaya,  whereby  he
took cognizance of the offences punishable under Sections 418, 504 and  120B
of the Indian Penal Code and issued summons and warrants. We also quash  the
proceedings arising out of the complaint case Nos. 315 of 2006, 319 of  2006
and 374 of 2006 before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gaya, Bihar.

12.   In view of the  above  directions  given  to  the  appellants/Company,
these appeals are disposed of.









                              ………………………………………………………………………J.
                       [SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA]








                        ………………………………………………………………………J.
                                  [V. GOPALA GOWDA]



New Delhi,
December 17, 2013
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