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Madras High Court Allows Revision Petition Against Work Managers at TANSI Foundry & Engineering Works

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The petitioner V. Muthuirulandi was a Manager of TANSI Foundry and Engineering Works, Tirunelveli during 2014-15. The respondents were alleged to have created a Bogus Job Card pursuant to the order of 75 transformers from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.

The petitioner had previously filed a suit against the respondents but it was dismissed by the courts without following due course of the inquiry. This Criminal Revision case is thus, filed as against the order passed by the Special Judge, Special Court for Vigilance and Anticorruption Cases, Madurai. 

Facts of the Case

The petitioner was a Foreman Grade- I and also a Manager of TANSI Foundry and Engineering Works, Tirunelveli during the year 2014-2015. The company got an order from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board for 75 transformers. The order was completed in four months from the date of the order.

The petitioner alleged that the first respondent drew some raw material from the stores by preparing a Bogus Job Card to an extent of Rs. 61, 391. He handed over the same to the second respondent, who in turn handed it over to the third respondent. The raw material was sold by the respondents and was said to have defrauded  TANSI Foundry and Engineering Works. 

The petitioner had lodged a complaint to the Managing Director, who initiated an inquiry against the respondents. However, it did not see any progress. The petitioner then filed a Writ Petition in the Madras High Court.

The Court disposed of the case, noting that disciplinary proceedings against an employee must be left to the discretion of the employer and a fellow employee will have no locus standi. Thereafter, the petitioner went to the Director of Vigilance and Anticorruption Department and the Director of Vigilance and Anticorruption. However, there was no cognizance taken. 

The petitioner, with no alternative left, filed a complaint under Section 191(b) of CrPC before the Special Court for Vigilance and Anticorruption. 

Arguments before the Court

The counsel for the petitioner cited three judgments, one from Kerala HC and two from Supreme Court. 

Pursuant to this revision petition, notice was issued to the respondents. The petitioner also issued a private notice and also filed a proof affidavit. However, there was still no representation for the respondents. 

Thus, the Court proceeded with the case with available exhibits. 

Court’s Observations

The Court marked all the documents provided by the petitioner as Ex 1- 12. The Court took notice of one of the cases cited by the counsel of the petitioner. In the case of National Bank of Oman Vs. Barakara Abdul Aziz, the Supreme Court opined:

“…The duty of a Magistrate receiving a complaint is set out in Section 202 of the Cr.P.C and there is an obligation on the Magistrate to find out if there is any matter which calls for an investigation by a criminal Court. The scope of enquiry under Section 202 of the Cr.P.C. is, therefore, limited to the ascertainment of truth or falsehood of the allegations made in the complaint (I) on the materials placed by the complainant before the Court (ii) for the limited purpose of finding out whether a prima facie case for the issue of the process has been made out; and (iii) for deciding the question purely from the point of view of the complainant without at all adverting to any defence the accused may have.” 

The Court found that there is a prima facie case for an enquiry. But the Special Judge dismissed the complaint without following the due process. It is only after an enquiry or investigation can it be ascertained whether the documents produced are sufficient to proceed with the complaint or not. 

The Court further found that the complaint is of a serious nature and the documents produced (Exs 1- 12) by the petitioner were enough to issue a rightful enquiry. 

Court’s Decision

The revision petition was allowed by the Court. The Court directed the Special Judge to pass an order for an enquiry by the competent authority to ascertain if there is any truth in the complaint. The Court also allowed the Special Court to proceed against the petitioner if there’s no truth to be found after the said investigation.

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