Allahabad HC stays arrest, probe against 5 officers of Meerut-based Infrastructure Company

The Allahabad High Court has stayed the arrest and investigation against five officers, including the Chairman, CEO and Director of Messrs Simplex Infrastructure Company, Meerut, in connection with payment of salary arrears of a former employee.

The Division Bench of Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Ajit Singh passed the order on May 7, while hearing a Criminal Miscellaneous Writ Petition filed by Rajiv Mundhra and four others.

“We stay the investigation and also stay the arrest, if any, though the offences which are alleged will not permit the Police to arrest as offences alleged under the Indian Penal Code Section 406, the maximum punishment is extendable to three years and under Indian Penal Code 420, it is for maximum seven years and, therefore, the police is under an obligation to follow the provision of Section 41 of CrPC.

Taking in view the oral statement that the petitioners were being coerced into making payment where there were factual disputes to payment of salary, the Court directed the Police not to arrest the petitioners as the offences were covered by Section 41 of CrPC.

The Bench said, “The other main anxiety is harassment by police and, therefore, we stay the investigation also, as we hope the parties will amicably settle their service dispute on or before the next date of hearing, which is July 8, 2021.

“According to the petitioners, the amount to be paid has to be worked out to the respondents, which is also in dispute but they are ready and willing to discuss with respondents as he is erstwhile employee and all of them are residing nearby each other, they may settle the dispute and get this complaint and petition disposed off on the next date of hearing.”

“Arvind Kumar Rai, Counsel for the respondents, was tried to be contacted on phone, but unfortunately, he has not picked up the phone, nor has joined the link of video conferencing. However, the order is for directing the parties for settlement. Hence, there are no adverse orders passed against him,” the Bench said.

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“It is also recorded that it is a simple dispute under realm of service and payment of dues, but as there are some disputed question of facts, the Petitioners have not paid due to pandemic,” the order read.
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