Friday, July 5, 2013

Madras HC says taking dowry "act of moral turpitude". I Agree. WHAT ABOUT GIVING DOWRY ? WILL father / brother of female giving dowry complaint loose job for acts of moral turpitude ? Madras HC GEM Case where Hubby Convicted n 498A, LOOSEs BANK JOB instantly! Judgement suspension by HC does NOT help! Hubby to Fight decades to get back into employement & NORMAL life , that is IF he will succeed on appeal etc ... The Honb'le HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS considers taking dowry to be an act of moral turpitude....



Notes
******************
* case where a muslim husband is convicted of Sec 498a, by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
* Once convicted of 498a, he looses his bank job immediately..bank dismisses him without even an inquiry etc, purely based on the conviction in 498a by the Magistrate court
* On conviction u/s 498a by magistrate court, hubby has appealed to the Madras HC and HC has suspended the sentance ...
* still bank does not give him his job back, i.e. the bank's dismissal stays
* the husband yet again runs to the HC and tries to get back his job ......

* HC says
    * suspension from a government job would be immediately after conviction on an offence involcing moral turptitude
    * there is NO need to wait for the appeals etc to run out (meaning husbands are at the mercy of the lowest courts !!)
    * HC says that the act of taking dowry is an act of moral turptitude and so this guy IS to be suspended !!
    * Husband is back to square 1 after loosing all the time and legal fees !!


* YES : Husband is back to square 1 after loosing all the time and legal fees !!




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CASE FROM JUDIS WEBSITE OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

This judgment was collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon. Some notes are made by Vinayak. This is a free service provided by Vinayak (pen name). Vinayak is a member of SIF - Save Indian Family Foundation. SIF is committed to fighting FALSE dowry cases and elder abuse. SIF supports gender equality and a fair treatment of law abiding Indian men. Should you find the dictum in this judgement or the judgement itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog or write to e _ vinayak @ yahoo . com (please remove spaces). Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.





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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED :   19.1.2009

C O R A M  :

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. CHANDRU

W.P.No.12056 of 1999


Mohammed Abdur Raheem @
Ramuvel                                .. Petitioner

    -vs-

1. State Bank of India, rep.by its
    Chief General Manager,
    Rajaji Salai, Chennai  600 001.

2. The Assistant General Manager,
    (AGM Region II),
    State Bank of India,
    21, Madurai Road,
    Tiruchirappalli-620 008.                    .. Respondents

PRAYER : Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issuance of a writ of certiorarified mandamus calling for the records relating to the order AGM/II/12/1815, dated 07.6.1999 on the file of the second respondent and quash the same and direct the second respondent to treat the period from 07.6.1999 to till dated as if continuing in service and grant all service benefits.                                           

        For petitioner         ::  Mr.G. Venkatraman for
                              M/s.Aiyar and Dolia

        For respondents    ::   Mr. U.Karunakaran for
                              M/s.G.M.Mani Associates


*****

O R D E R

     The petitioner's services were dispensed with by the order of the second respondent dated 07.6.1999 by exercising the power under Section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 read with Paragraph 521 (2)(b) of the Shastri Award. It was stated in the order that the petitioner was convicted for an offence under section 498 A, IPC and imposed with a penalty of six months imprisonment and also convicted for an offence under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and imposed with a punishment of imprisonment for a period of six months together with a fine of Rs.500/- by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ramanathapuram. This was on account of the complaint given by petitioner's wife Mrs.Rajeswari before the All Women Police Station at Ramanathapuram and the same was registered in Crime No.12 of 1999. Subsequently, the case was tried as C.C.No.4 of 1996 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ramanathapuram.

After the trial, the petitioner was found guilty and was imposed with the punishment of conviction on both counts as stated earlier.

    2. The petitioner had preferred Crl.A.No.930 of 1997 before this Court. This Court had suspended the sentence. It is significant to note that the petitioner's original name in the bank records as well as in the Criminal Court is Ramuvel and subsequently he has assumed the name of Mohammed Abdul Rahim.

    3.  The petitioner after getting his sentence suspended by this Court on 03.11.1997, wrote a letter to the respondent bank stating that since the sentence has been suspended, there was no question of any discharge from service and therefore, he must be restored to duty. As he did not get any reply, he filed the present writ petition before this Court and the same was admitted on 15.7.1999.

    4. The petitioner in this writ petition has raised the following contentions:-

a)Para 521(2)(b) of the Shastri Award cannot be applied to his case as he is a permanent employee and such a discharge order cannot be passed without disciplinary action.

b)Section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 cannot be invoked in a case where there is a private dispute between an husband and his wife and his conviction cannot amount to a  moral turpitude.

c)Since the petitioner's conviction has been suspended and it is pending in appeal, the conviction had not reached its finality and, therefore, the power of discharge cannot be invoked by the respondents.

    5.  The learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in State Bank of India -vs- Workmen reported in (1991) 1 SCC 13 for the purpose of showing that an order under para 521 cannot be a discharge simpliciter if it is imposed as a punishment. Therefore, in the present case, when the petitioner had been discharged for a punishment, the said provision cannot be invoked.

    6.  He also placed reliance upon the decision of this Court in Management of Tractors & Farms Equipment Limited and First Additional Labour Court, Madras and another reported in 1982 II LLJ 403 for the purpose of showing that a conviction under the Prohibition Act was held to be  not amounting to moral turpitude.

    7. Taking the second argument, it is necessary to refer to the provision of law in this regard. Section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 reads as follows:-

| 10.     Prohibition of employment of Managing Agents
| and restrictions on certain forms of employment-
|
| (1)        No banking company-
|
|     (a)   (omitted)
|
|    (b) Shall employ or continue the employment of any
| person.
|
| (i)    Who is, or at any time has been, adjudicated
| insolvent, or has suspended payment or has compounded
| with his creditors, or who, is or has been, convicted
| by a criminal court of an offence involving moral
| turpitude; ....."

    8. The term ''moral turpitude'' came to be considered by the Supreme Court in Pawan Kumar -vs- State of Haryana reported in (1996) 4 SCC 17 and in para 12 it is stated as follows:-

| 12. **Moral turpitude is an expression which is used**
| **in legal as also societal parlance to describe conduct**
| **which is inherently base, vile, depraved or having any**
| **connection showing depravity**."


        9. While considering whether a conviction under section 61 (1)(a) of the Punjab Excise Act can be a disqualification under section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the Supreme Court in Swaran Singh -vs- State Bank of India reported in 1986 (Supp) SCC 566 held that it will not be a disqualification. The following passage found in para 1 is extracted below:

|  ''1. The contention that the petitioner having been
| released under Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders
| Act, 1958, the disqualification attaching to his
| conviction for having committed an offence punishable
| under Section 61(1)(a) of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914
| stood removed by Section 12 of the Act, cannot
| prevail. The matter is concluded by the recent
| decision of this Court in Shankar Dass v. Union of
| India1. In that case the court has laid down that
| conviction on a criminal charge was not a
| disqualification falling within the purview of Section
| 12 of the Act. It also referred to clause (a) of the
| second proviso to Article 311(2) of the Constitution
| which confers a power on the government to dismiss a
| person on the ground of conduct which has led to his
| conviction on a criminal charge. It cannot therefore
| be said that the State Bank of India could not take
| recourse to Section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking
| Regulations Act, 1949 in directing the removal from
| service of the petitioner upon his conviction under
| Section 61(1)(a) of the Act as he was guilty of
| conduct which led to his conviction by the criminal
| court involving moral turpitude".

        10. But by no stretch of imagination, the offence committed by the petitioner can be equated to an offence under the Excise Act. **A conviction under Section 498-A of the IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is inherently base, vile and shows depraved conduct. Demanding and accepting dowry is a social evil and it is certainly an offence involving moral turpitude**. Therefore, the second contention raised by the petitioner cannot be accepted by this Court.

        11. With reference to the first contention that the petitioner cannot be discharged from service since he had his sentence suspended pending appeal and that the conviction had not reached finality, it is necessary to refer to the judgment of the **Supreme Court in The Deputy Director of College Education (Administration) Madras -vs- S.Nagoor Meera reported in (1995)** 3 SCC 377. The  passages found in paragraphs 8 and 9 can be usefully reproduced below :-

| Para 8 : We need not, however, concern ourselves any
| more with the power of the appellate court under the
| Code of Criminal Procedure for the reason that what is
| relevant for clause (a) of the second proviso to
| Article 311(2) is the conduct which has led to his
| conviction on a criminal charge and there can be no
| question of suspending the conduct. We are, therefore,
| of the opinion that taking proceedings for and passing
| orders of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of a
| government servant who has been convicted by a
| criminal court is not barred merely because the
| sentence or order is suspended by the appellate court
| or on the ground that the said government servant-
| accused has been released on bail pending the appeal.
|
| **Para 9 : The Tribunal seems to be of the opinion that**
| **until the appeal against the conviction is disposed**
| **of, action under clause (a) of the second proviso to**
| **Article 311(2) is not permissible. We see no basis or**
| **justification for the said view. The more appropriate**
| **course in all such cases is to take action under**
| **clause (a) of the second proviso to Article 311(2)**
| **once a government servant is convicted of a criminal**
| **charge and not to wait for the appeal or revision, as**
| **the case may be. If, however, the government servant-**
| **accused is acquitted on appeal or other proceeding**,
| **the order can always be revised and if the government**
| **servant is reinstated, he will be entitled to all the**
| **benefits to which he would have been entitled to had**
| **he continued in service. The other course suggested**,
| **viz., to wait till the appeal, revision and other**
| **remedies are over, would not be advisable since it**
| **would mean continuing in service a person who has been**
| **convicted of a serious offence by a criminal court. It**
| **should be remembered that the action under clause (a)**
| **of the second proviso to Article 311(2) will be taken**
| **only where the conduct which has led to his conviction**
| **is such that it deserves any of the three major**
| **punishments mentioned in Article 311(2)**.

As held by this Court in Shankar Dass v. Union of India2: (SCC p. 362, para 7)

|  Clause (a) of the second proviso to Article 311(2)
| of the Constitution confers on the Government the
| power to dismiss a person from service on the ground
| of conduct which has led to his conviction on a
| criminal charge. But that power like every other
| power has to be exercised fairly, justly and
| reasonably. Surely, the Constitution does not
| contemplate that a government servant who is convicted
| for parking his scooter in a no-parking area should be
| dismissed from service. He may, perhaps, not be
| entitled to be heard on the question of penalty since
| clause (a) of the second proviso to Article 311(2)
| makes the provisions of that article inapplicable when
| a penalty is to be imposed on a government servant on
| the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction
| on a criminal charge. But the right to impose a
| penalty carries with it the duty to act justly.

Hence, the second contention must also necessarily fail. It is for the petitioner to work out his rights depending upon the outcome of the criminal appeal pending before this Court. The writ petition at this stage is premature.

    12. **In the light of the above, the writ petition will stand dismissed. However, there will be no order as to costs**.


js

To


1. The Chief General Manager,
    State Bank of India,
    Rajaji Salai, Chennai  600 001.


2. The Assistant General Manager,
    (AGM Region II),
    State Bank of India,
    21, Madurai Road,
    Tiruchirappalli 620 008