Bengaluru

HC quashes criminal proceedings against consulting firm

The High Court of Karnataka, finding serious procedural lapses by the city police, has quashed the criminal proceedings, initiated in 2014 against the Managing Director and the employees of M/s Exalt Consulting Placement Services Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, on the charges of cheating by making false job promises to the job seekers by collecting money from them.

The Court passed the order on July 9, 2021, while allowing the petitions filed by D Shabbir Ahmed, Managing Director, Mohammed Shakeel, Mohammed Azam Pasha, and James Kiran, all employees of the firm.

The Court has held that the Bengaluru city police had commenced the investigation against the firm without the authority in law as the searches were conducted and electronic gadgets were seized before registration of the First Information Report (FIR), which is mandatory on receiving complaints about cognisable offences.

The complaint, the Court said, received through the e-mail by the city police commissioner had disclosed cognisable offence but the police had registered FIR after coducting search and seizing materials by raiding company’s office in Shivajinagar prior to registration of FIR.

The High Court also held that conduct of investigation is also without the authority of law under the Information Technology Act, 2000 as a sub-inspector had conducted the probe and filed charge sheets contrary to the provisions of the IT Act, which states that probe should be by an officer not below the rank of an inspector.

Further, the Court said the arraigning of the executives and the employees as accused was also illegal as the company was not arraigned as an accused neither in the FIR nor in the charge sheet. The Court also declined the plea of the prosecution that all these defects could be corrected during the proceedings while observing that it is too late as prosecution started six years ago.

(The article has been updated after the Karnataka High Court quashed the case against the Exalt Consulting Placement Service Private Limited.)


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 5:13:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hc-quashes-criminal-proceedings-against-consulting-firm/article61424394.ece