SAURI PRASAD PATNAIK Vs. THE STATE OF ORISSA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Sauri Prasad Patnaik
The State Of Orissa
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L. Rath, J. -
(1.) THE Petitioner who was a Veterinary Surgeon attached to Project Tiger, Similipal Tiger Reserve at Jashipur has moved this application under Section 482 Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing cognisance taken against him under Sections 448/504/341 I.P.C. on the information lodged by the Field Director of the Project on the allegation that on 14.5.84 the Petitioner demanded disbursement of his pay in a loud voice and tried to assault one A.C. Pujari, Forest Range Officer and obstructed the movement of the jeep of the Field Director standing in its front when he wanted to proceed to Baripada.
(2.) ADMITTEDLY the allegation made In the F.I.R. was enquired in to the Officer -in -charge of Jashipur Police Station who submitted a final report concluding that there had been friction between the staff since the joining of the Field Director with groupism in the office that, Field Director had moved for abolition of the post of the Petitioner for want of sanction, but that sanction had been sent for the post, that the Petitioner had not received his pay for two months for which he had been harassed and to at he had stood in front of the jeep while it was not in motion. Besides, he reported that all the witnesses are interested persons for the informant including Sri A.C. Pujari who was supposed to have been attempted to be assaulted by the Petitioner. The specific allegation against the Petitioner as disclosed in the F.I.R. is that he having come to the office of the Field Director demanded at the top of his voice that unless his pay is disbursed within three days, he would take drastic action. During investigation Sri S.M. Ahmed, A.C.F. stated that when the Field Director was explaining the delay in payment of the salary, the Petitioner became furious and shouted at the top of his voice demanding payment within three days and that otherwise the matter would be serious. On such evidence, cognisance has been taken under Section 506 IPC. Taking the statement in the F.I.R. and that of the witnesses into consideration. It does not appear that the ingredients of the section have in any way been satisfied. There was absolutely to threat held out by the Petitioner and all that he is supposed to have said was that non -payment of his salary would result in drastic action being taken by him or that the matter would be serious Every government servant is as of right entitled to his salary as a matter of course and if the same is not paid, it is bound to entail serious consequences for him and no offence could be found if the grievance is voiced by him with serious concern. A right of the employee to ventilate his grievance before the superior officer in the event of non receipt of the salary must be conceded without any threat of criminal action for the same.
(3.) SO far as the charge under Section 448 IPC is concerned, it is alleged that the Petitioner came inside the Forest Rest House and made a demand for payment of his salary. The offence can hardly be attracted to the facts alleged. In the first place the place was not a house belonging to a particular person but a Forest Rest House which at the time of occurrence was being used as the office by the Field Director. In the second place, the very purpose of coming inside the house was not to commit an offence or indulge in other such prohibited acts as stated in Section 441 IPC but make a legitimate demand for payment of his salary. In that view of the matter, there could be no case on an offence under Section 448 IPC having been committed.;
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