Madras High Court: Addressing the issue of the growing menace of job racketing and tackling the unemployment problem, Division Bench of N. Kirubakaran and S. Vaidyanathan, JJ, suggested the Central and State Government promote entrepreneurs and create self-employment opportunities for youth so that the future of this country can be safeguarded from falling prey to such money mongering vultures.
Instant suo motu writ petition was filed to direct the respondents 1 to 10 to conduct a thorough enquiry and register an FIR so as to proceed against respondents 11 to 15 for preparing and sending fake interview/appointment letters with an intention to defraud the innocent public with an oblique motive and to make unlawful gain and to proceed in accordance with law.
How did the present issue crop up?
An interview call letter allegedly sent in the name of respondents portrayed that the letter had been issued with an ulterior motive to defraud the public at large. There was no genuineness in the letter in the commitment made by the company and their intention appeared that they wanted to collect money from jobless persons, by falsely promising to secure jobs in private companies.
Several reports were filed under the direction of Court.
High Court expressed that, the FIR in the present case was registered as early as 20-10-2017. Even though a lady accused was nabbed, remanded to custody and subsequently, released on bail by the Court below, still, the investigation moved in a snail-paced and dawdling manner, as the whereabouts of other co-accused were not traceable.
Bench opined that the respondent-police instead of spending time in search of other accused and keeping in abeyance a criminal case without any progress for quite a long time, formalities, such as filing of charge sheet before the Jurisdictional Magistrate concerned, if not already filed, cooperating for smooth conduct of the Trial in the case, etc.
Court also stated that one of us (Justice S. Vaidyanathan), while sitting singly, dealt with the issue of fake employment elaborately in the case of A. Perumal v. State, (2015) 2 Mad LJ (Crl) 669, observed as follows:
“21. The very term “unemployment” will sound the death knell for the future of the youth of this nation. Every individual would like to stand on his own legs to avert the reverberations of the said word “unemployment”. Such untiring pursuit for employment by the youth is taken advantage of by certain sections.
- It is unfortunate that, now-a-days, everywhere in the country, bogus manpower consultant agencies and fake recruitment agencies are mushrooming with the main illegal object of luring the unemployed youth with employment in government sectors as well as in foreign countries. The youth too, without knowing the hidden agenda, are falling prey to such temptations of lucrative jobs and paying huge amounts even by selling the properties held by their families or availing loans from financial institutions with high rate of interest. While in some cases, the consultancies or agencies would disappear overnight with the amount collected from the victims, in some other cases, they used to issue fake appointment letters to the victims, who would know about the fraud played on them only at the time of joining the post. If ultimately, he is cheated, his entire future will be in peril and it is not easy to restore normalcy in life by overcoming from the situation. In my firm view, these white-collar crimes, which have drastic effects, should be dealt with iron hands and severe punishment should be awarded to the culprits. The innocent persons who, later realized that they were cheated, used to approach the concerned police only and ventilate their grievances by lodging the complaints and request to apprehend the persons and recover the amount.”
Court elaborated more on the scams stating that,
Of late, several unemployed youths are being cheated by job racketeers and anti-social elements, especially taking advantage of the present pandemic situation, where thousands of people have lost their jobs. The gangs at first target credulous unemployed youth and lure them with attractive job offers both at Central and State Governments and some times in reputed private Organizations.
The method of minting money by utilizing the unemployment problem is mushrooming in the recent past and though the amount sought to be transferred can be meagre, it will get doubled or multiplied, when thousands of people transfer the amount in their favour.
Bench noted an unpleasant incident that took place in the High Court premises that an accused posing himself to be a staff of particular section, collected monies from various persons in the garb of securing jobs in the Madras High Court.
High Court added that, persons, who were cheated started visiting Raman, who had been working in the High Court and several enquiries were made about his integrity. The real Raman, upon sensing fraudulent act of some unknown accused, lodged a complaint with the Police to prove his innocence, even though he was neither a victim nor connected with such collection of amount at all.
Based on the above-stated complaint, a real culprit was arrested, who, by way of impersonation and taking advantage of the similarity in name, cheated several persons as per his own confession statement before Police and the said case is under progress now, that too, after intervention of a Judge (as otherwise, the case would have been thrown to dustbin) and in the said case, there was also a cloud of suspicion of involvement of a Head Constable/Writer working in the Police Department itself, as pointed out by the Complainant.
Further, elaborating more on its conclusion, Court stated that appropriate Governments should think of periodically conducting awareness programmes to encourage self-employment schemes.
“….every unemployed youth will thrive for getting a Government job, but at the same time, it should be borne in mind that their young age should not be wasted in equipping themselves and preparation for Government jobs, instead they can create their own new businesses and job opportunities through self-employment.”
In view of the above discussion, suo motu writ petition was disposed of.
It is made clear that the progress of the investigation, trial, arrest of co-accused, etc., shall have to be intimated to the Registrar Judicial of this Court every now and then, as a serious scam of job racketing is involved in this case and a fake interview call letter has been issued in the name of a Sitting Judge of this Court.
Matter to be listed in February 2022 for reporting compliance. [Ministry of Human Resources, In re., 2021 SCC OnLine Mad 2947, decided on 19-08-2021]
Advocates who appeared in this case:
For R1: M/s. M.E. Saraswathy, SPC
For R2 to R10 : Mr. J.C. Durairaj Govt. Advocate