They were accused of forging a document

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday quashed the criminal case booked by Mahesh Joshi, Deputy Director-General of Doordarshan Kendra, Bangalore, against nine members of the Programme Staff Association in 2004 accusing them of forging a document related to the association in which they had allegedly made certain charges against him during 1998-99.

In his order, Justice Anand Byrareddy said, “The only presumption that could be drawn is that the complainant [Mr. Joshi] has brought these proceedings with the view to wreak vengeance against the petitioners [nine staff members].”

Complaint questioned

The High Court passed the order while allowing petitions filed by K.R. Srinivas, N.K. Mohan Ram, N. Raghavan, N.V. Vijayalakshmi, Sudha S. Rao, H. Sulochana, Jayashree Narain, A. Dasa and C.N. Krishnakumar questioning the complaint and the charge sheet filed by the police against them. Some of these petitioners have already retired from service. The petitioners alleged that this case was filed to harass them by abusing the process of law.

Mr. Joshi had filed a defamation case against about 25 Programme Staff Association members for allegedly passing a resolution in April 1999 making certain allegations against him and sending it to the higher authorities. Mr. Joshi was the Director-Marketing, Deputy Director-General of Doordarshan Kendra and AIR, Bangalore, then. He had contended that contents of this document damaged his career and reputation. He, however, had withdrawn the complaint against some staff members who apologised before the magistrate but these nine persons contested the charges.

Finally, the magistrate court in 2005 acquitted all the nine and the Karnataka High Court also confirmed the acquittal while pointing out that Mr. Mahesh Joshi had failed to prove that it was these staff members who had signed and issued the contentious document against him though he had an opportunity to do so.

Forgery case

Mr. Mahesh Joshi had filed the forgery case against these nine persons when the defamation case was pending after the then president of the Programme Staff Association filed an affidavit in the defamation case stating that these persons were not members of the association and the document was not an authorised one. However, the president, who had filed a separate petition in this regard, had subsequently withdrawn it.

Noticing the outcome of the defamation case and the withdrawal of the petition filed by the Programme Staff Association president, Justice Reddy said that it would be futile to attribute this document to the petitioners when the courts have already negated this document, based on which Mr. Joshi had filed this case.

“When the primary grievance of the complainant and the basic act [defamation] attributed to the petitioners has not been proved, it is no longer tenable for the court to examine a peripheral issue whether they forged the document or whether they were members of the association,” the court said while stating that Mr. Mahesh Joshi was not an office-bearer of the Programme Staff Association to be aggrieved by the alleged forgery or impersonation.

  • Mahesh Joshi, Deputy Director-General of Doordarshan Kendra, filed the complaint in 2004

  • ‘The complainant has brought these proceedings to wreak vengeance against the petitioners’