Srinagar, Jan 12: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed a plea of a Cooperative Bank’s employee who had sought quashing of an FIR against him by CBI and subsequent framing of charges under penal code and Prevention of Corruption Act for not being a public servant.
A bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal referred to the explanation appended to section 21 of the penal code to reject the petition by the Bombay Mercantile Bank employee.
“In view of (the) explanation, it is evident that every officer or servant employed by a Cooperative Bank whether for the whole or part time is a public servant within a meaning of section 21 RPC and likewise section 2(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption of Act…,” the court said and rejected the employee’s contention that he is not a public servant and could not have been prosecuted for the offences under the PC Act.
“The second contention raised by the petitioner (employee) is that the allegations leveled against the petitioner do not make out any case for prosecuting him under the penal laws and liability if any, is civil in nature is also without any merit,” the court said.
It said that there are serious allegations against the employee with regard to abuse his official position by opening fictitious accounts and causing huge loss to the extent of more than one crore rupees to the Bank. “The criminal proceedings can be quashed only when the matter that is essentially of civil in nature has been given a cloak of criminal offence,” the court said as per GNS, adding, “From the perusal of allegations it is not made out that civil dispute has been camouflaged as criminal dispute. So this contention also deserves to be rejected.”
The challan reveals that the FIR was lodged on the basis of written complaint dated 13 January 2004 submitted to Superintendent of Police, CBI by Ashraf Ali Abbas, the then Branch Manager of the Bank.
“In the instant case, investigation stands concluded and the challan stands filed,” the court said, adding, “The trial court has taken cognizance of the offences mentioned in the challan and has even framed the charges against the petitioner (employee) and the other accused. Now at this stage, the accused-petitioner (employee) cannot raise a plea that the CBI had investigated the matter without any authorization and also there is no whisper that any miscarriage of justice has been occasioned to the (employee) due to such investigation by CBI.”(GNS)