2000-(001)-CLJ -0042 -ALL
DILIP CHATURVEDI v. STAR PAPER MILLS LTD. AND OTHERS.
Criminal Misc. Application No. 2898 of 1999, decided on September 21, 1999.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
KAMAL KISHOR MISHRA, Advocate, for the applicant.
R. P. AGARWAL, Advocate, for the opposite party 1.
B. K. RATHI, J. – I have heard Sri Kamal Kishore Mishra, learned counsel for the applicant, Sri R. P. Agarwal, learned counsel for the opposite party No. 1 and the learned AGA for opposite party Nos. 2 and 3.
2. The opposite party No. 1 filed a complaint against the applicant under section 630 of Indian Companies Act on the allegation that the applicant was the employee of opposite party No. 1 and was given a quarter in lieu of the same. That the services of the applicant have been terminated from 23.5.1999 but he has not vacated the quarter. That, therefore, complaint under section 630 of Indian Companies Act was filed. The applicant raised two objections before Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut, where the complaint is pending.
3. Firstly, he has alleged that the registered office of the company is at Calcutta and, therefore, the Calcutta High Court or the courts subordinate to it only has jurisdiction to try the complaint. Second, contention is that there is arbitration clause and, therefore, the complaint is barred. The contentions of the applicant were repealed by the Special C.J.M., Meerut, and the revision filed against that order by the applicant was rejected by IX Additional Sessions Judge, Meerut. The applicant therefore, approached this court.
4. It is contended that the registered office of the opposite party No. 1 company is at Calcutta. Therefore, it is argued that according to section 2 (11)(10), the complaint could be filed in a court subordinate to the High Court of Calcutta. Both the courts repealed the contention for the reason that this section does not apply to a criminal complaint which can be filed in the court having territorial jurisdiction according to Cr.P.C. The property in dispute is situated at Saharanpur and the cause of action also arose at Saharanpur, and, therefore, the contention that the Special C.J.M., Meerut, has no jurisdiction to try the case – cannot be accepted.
5. As regard the second contention, it does not require a detailed discussion. There is arbitration clause, but that is regarding the dispute relating to the services of the applicant and not regarding the vacation of the house. Apart from this the criminal proceedings cannot be barred by an arbitration agreement. Therefore, the complaint under section 630 of the Indian Companies Act is not barred by the arbitration clause.
6. Learned counsel for the applicant has also contended before me that the liability is of civil nature and complaint under
section 630 of Indian Companies Act is not maintainable. In support of the argument, the learned counsel for the applicant has referred the case of Jagdish Chandra Nijhawan v. S. K. Saraf, (1999) 1 Comp LJ 1 (SC) : (1999) SCC (Crl) 20. I have carefully gone through the law laid down in that case. There was an agreement and the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the appellant in that case joined the services mainly because he was offered a flat in Trivoli Court. The employment was given for five years and there was further agreement that in case of termination of service at the instance of company employee/his wife shall continue to enjoy rent free accommodation during their lifetime. In the light of this argument, it was held that the liability is of civil nature and a suit for eviction was also pending. This authority has, therefore, no help to the facts of the case.
7. The petition is, therefore, without merit and is dismissed.