Karnataka HC Refuses To Quash Cheating Case Against Advocate For Suppression Of Information Of Previous Criminal Cases While Applying For District Judge Post
The Karnataka High Court refuses to quash a cheating case filed against an Advocate for suppressing information about previous criminal cases while applying for the post of a District Judge.
The court said that fraud and misrepresentation for securing employment can be brought under the umbrella of the ingredients of cheating.
The Bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that, "The petitioner has deliberately suppressed the cases that were pending against him therefore, it amounts to seeking to secure employment on account of misrepresentation. It is, therefore, in cases where fraud and misrepresentation form the foundation for securing employment, can in a given case, be brought under the umbrella of the ingredients of cheating."
Senior Counsel KN Phanindra appeared for the petitioner, while Government Pleader KP Yashoda appeared for the respondent no. 1, while Senior Counsel Nagananda appeared for the respondent no. 2.
In this case, the petitioner was a practicing advocate with 13 years of experience, who applied for the position of a District Judge in Karnataka. After successfully clearing the preliminary and final exams and the viva voce, he was listed in the final select list.
However, an anonymous complaint alleging false information suppressed by the petitioner led to a show-cause notice. Despite explanations, a Committee terminated his candidature and initiated criminal proceedings under Section 420 of the IPC. The petitioner approached the High Court, challenging the proceedings initiated after the Magistrate took cognizance.
The Court observed that, "the petitioner cannot feign ignorance of the cases that he had initiated or pending against him at the time of filing of the application, as the application is clearly worded that if there are past cases also the same had to be disclosed. Therefore, prima facie, the petitioner is guilty of suppressing the fact of him involving in nine cases albeit their closure, just prior to the notification issued by the 2nd respondent."
It was also noted that the petitioner was a practicing Advocate for close to 13 years prior to submitting his application, and hence, he could not take the defence that he did not answer the question about his criminal record as he did not understand it. In that context, it was also said that, "It is an admitted fact that there were nine cases in which the petitioner was either complainant or accused be it any family dispute or otherwise. Therefore, the petitioner cannot feign ignorance of the cases that he had initiated or pending against him at the time of filing of the application, as the application is clearly worded that if there are past cases also the same had to be disclosed."
Finding no merit in the application, the petition was rejected.
Cause Title: Sri Palaksha SS vs The State & Anr.