Madras High Court Allows Petition, Says Respondents To Give Opportunity of Equal Representation Before Imposing Penalty

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The petition was filed under Article 226 in Madras HC in the case of P. Sampathkumar v. The Senior Divisional Manager, TASMAC. It was filed to issue a Writ of Certiorari and call for records of the impugned order passed on 21.05.2020 and quash the same.

Justice Mrs V. Bhavani Subbaroyan heard and allowed the matter of the petition.

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner was working as a supervisor at TASMAC. Respondent No. 2 advised the Petitioner to close down the shop because of the pandemic until the Government passes any order. He advised him to move his liquor bottles to a marriage hall to protect them from the anti-social elements.

In April, Respondent No. 2 informed the Petitioner about the shortage in stock. Hence, he asked the petitioner to pay Rs. 6,41,630/- along with GST and interest of 24%.

Respondent No. 2 issued an impugned order, which stated:

  1. The Petitioner to pay the penalty within three days in the TASMAC account.
  2. Disciplinary proceedings would begin on the failure of payment.

Hence the Petitioner filed this petition.

Arguments of the Parties

The Respondents contended that the Petitioner paid the shortage amount on their own without compulsion. Due to the prevailing rules, he is mandated to pay the penalty within three days in TASMAC Account.

Observation of Court

The fine amount imposed was as per Rule 2(c)(ii) of the Code of Prevention and Detection of Fraudulent Act. According to Code 6(n) of the Act, it mandates to give an opportunity to the petitioner to make his representation before any imposition of penalty. However, the Respondents failed to give an opportunity and imposed penalty. Hence the Court put aside the impugned order and stated that the Petitioner must issue a new show-cause notice to make his representation.

Decision of Court

The Court allowed the petition with no cost.


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