HC stays proceeding in defamation complaint filed by Dharamarth Trust against its Ex-Employees


Jammu, May 1: Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has stayed the proceedings before the Court of 'City Judge' Srinagar in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Dharmarth Trust, against its Ex-Employees namely Pritam Sharma S/o Late Sh. Balak Ram, Karnail Chand S/o Late Sh. Chamail Chand & one Kamal Kishore Sharma S/o Pt. Sadhu Ram.
After hearing Counsel for the petitioners, Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul issued notice to the Dharmarth Trust through its Additional Secretary, Varinder Singh Jamwal, J&K Dharmarth Trust Regional Office, Shri Gada-dhar Temple, Old Secretariat, Srinagar and subject to objections and till next date before the Bench, stayed the proceedings in case titled Dharmarth Trust vs Pritam Sharma and Ors.
The Criminal Transfer Applic-ation has been filed by Pritam Sharma and Karnail Chand both erstwhile office bearers of Dhar-marth Trust Employees Associ-ation which was duly registered on 22-2-1993 by the Registrar under Trade Union Act.
The Counsel for the petitioners vehemently argued that both the petitioners were raising their voice regarding the malpractices of the management in running the affairs of the Dharmarth Trust and the management illegally/arbitrarily terminated their services on 18.06.2001 without holding any inquiry just to send a loud message that my employee who will raise the voice for the employees will meet the same fate. The Counsel for the petitioners further submitted that petitioners filed an application on 15-02-2001 in PIL No. 951/2000 titled Narayan Singh & Ors V/s State of J&K & Ors to become a party in the said PIL and the said application was allowed and both the petitioners became the respondents in the said PIL wherein the mismanagement and irregularities had been highlighted in the functioning of Dharmarth Trust.
The filing of application by the petitioners further annoyed the management of the Dharmarth Trust and with a view to harass and victimize the petitioners, the Manag-ement of the Dharmarth Trust in a revengeful manner filed a Criminal Defamation case against the petitioners in the Court of City Judge, Srinagar so that the petitioners surrender before the Management and not to raise the malfunctioning of Dharmarth Trust.
Counsel for the petitioners further submitted that the basic intention of filing the criminal complaint at Srinagar is to gag the voice of the petitioners who have always been vocal with regard to the mess created in the functioning of Dharmarth Trust and the Management has been filing false /frivolous cases before several Courts at Jammu/Delhi/Srinagar to teach a lesson to the petitioners who are Ex-Employees of Dharmarth Trust so that they may remain silent over the misdeeds of the Dharmarth Trust.
After considering the submissions of Counsel for the petitioners, Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul stayed the proceedings in the criminal defamation complaint pending in the Court of City Judge, Srinagar. JNF

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