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MARIYAKUTTY @ LIZZY v. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY - Crl MC No. 2838 of 2004 [2007] RD-KL 3737 (20 February 2007)


Crl MC No. 2838 of 2004()

... Petitioner


... Respondent


For Petitioner :SRI.M.J.THOMAS


The Hon'ble MR. Justice A.K.BASHEER

Dated :20/02/2007



CRL.M.C. NO. 2838 OF 2004

Dated this the 20th day of February, 2007


Petitioner, who is being prosecuted for offences punishable under Section 24(1)(b) of the Emigration Act, 1983 (for short "the Act") by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, has filed this petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking to quash the above proceedings.

2. The charge against the petitioner as revealed from Annexure -P appears to be that she was found conducting interview of some aspirants/candidates, who were seeking employment as nurses in the United Kingdom. The Sub Inspector of Police of Central Police Station, Ernakulam, had registered the crime on 3rd June, 2004. According to the Officer, the Police party led by the Circle Inspector of Police had raided Hotel Taj Residency at Cochin on that day at about 2 p.m. on the basis of reliable information received from several sources with regard to the interview that was being held at the business centre of the hotel. It was found by the Police party that the petitioner was interviewing one Miss. Bindumol Joseph at the time when they CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers reached the hotel and that twelve other candidates (whose names were mentioned in the FIR) were waiting outside the interview room for their turn. Further case of the prosecution is that those candidates who were waiting outside the interview room informed that they were seeking employment as nurses in NHS Hospital in the United Kingdom. Petitioner could not produce any document to show that she had been permitted by the appropriate authority to conduct such an interview for recruitment of nurses to a foreign country. It was also found that the business centre of the hotel was booked in the name of the petitioner for the purpose of interview. The register maintained at the Hotel was taken into custody after preparing a mahazar. Thereafter, the petitioner was arrested. The charge sheet was laid by the Police after completing the investigation. The case was taken on file by the court below, which is now pending in C.C. No.210/04.

3. It is contended by the petitioner that the prosecution launched against her is clearly an abuse of process and there is absolutely no material to show that she had anything to do with the recruitment business. It is the case of the petitioner that she CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers is the managing partner of Messrs Manjooran Group of Institutions, which has got branches at different places. The Institution is conducting English practice course in International English Language Testing System (I.E.L.T.S.). The institution gives training to nurses to enable them to obtain certificate in I.E.L.T.S. According to the petitioner, either she or any one of the employees of the institution used to accompany the trainees when they were being interviewed by the recruiting agencies "in order to give them encouragement and confidence". Messers Manjooran Group of Institutions had nothing to do with any recruiting business. Petitioner had never participated in any of the recruiting process. In fact, Messers Star Gate Travel Bureau, Trivandrum, had been recruiting nurses to United Kingdom and other countries. The said organisation had obtained necessary sanction and authorisation from the Protector of Emigrants for conducting the interview. It is true that the petitioner was present at Taj Residency on the day when the Police party had raided the business centre. But she was not conducting the interview as alleged. The interview was being conducted by the agents of Messers Star Gate Travel Bureau, Trivandrum. It is CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers further contended by the petitioner that the statements given by the witnesses to the Police would amply show that it was Messers Star Gate Travel Bureau, Trivandrum, who was the real recruiting agent. Petitioner has produced the statements of some of those witnesses. True copies of those statements, which are stated to have been given by the witnesses, are on record as Annexures (f) to (o). Learned counsel lays heavy emphasis on those statements and submits that those statements must be considered by this Court and the entire proceedings pending against the petitioner ought to be quashed.

4. I am afraid the above contention is totally misconceived and untenable. It is pertinent to note that the Police Officer, who had registered the crime on the basis of Annexure (D)-FIR, had found that the petitioner was conducting the interview at the business centre of the hotel. Several candidates were found waiting outside interview room for their turn. More importantly, it was the admitted position that the business centre was booked in the name of the petitioner for the days on which the interview was held starting from 31st May 2004 to 4th June 2004. While conceding that the booking was made in CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers the name of the petitioner, it is submitted by the learned counsel that booking was made as requested by Messers Star Gate Travel Bureau, Trivandrum. It may be so. It is not for this Court to consider the above aspect at this stage. It is for the petitioner to adduce evidence at the appropriate stage before the Trial Court. I do not propose to deal with the above contention any further at this stage.

5. The other contention raised by the petitioner is that the prosecution cannot be sustained since previous sanction of the Central Government had not been obtained as provided under Section 27 of the Act. But a perusal of the proviso to Section 27 clearly indicates that in certain given circumstances prosecution can be lodged. Yet again I refrain from making any further comment on this since in my view petitioner should be given an opportunity to raise the said contention before the Trial Court. I do not propose to foreclose the issue at this stage.

6. The power that can be exercised by this Court under Section 482 is circumscribed and well delineated. It is true that this Court can invoke its inherent power under Section 482 to meet the ends of justice and also to prevent miscarriage of CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers justice. Several witnesses had been questioned by the investigating agency and materials have been gathered in support of the prosecution case. Of course, it will be open to the petitioner to adduce evidence in support of her case. I have no hesitation to hold that this is not a fit case to invoke the power under Section 482 in order to quash the proceedings before the court below. There is no merit in any of the contentions raised by the petitioner. This Crl.M.C. fails and it is accordingly dismissed.


vps CRL.M.C. NO.2838/04 Page numbers




21st DECEMBER, 2006


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