Two jailed for filing frivolous lawsuit against Azim Premji

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Subramanian from Chennai and Sadanand from India Awake for Transparency were found in contempt of court

The Karnataka High Court has convicted two representatives of a ‘non-existent’ Chennai-based company in a contempt of court case and sentenced them to two months simple imprisonment for repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits against the founder of the Wipro group of companies, Azim H. Premji and his companies by suppressing facts in court.

The High Court has ordered its (Judicial) Registrar to prepare a warrant for the recognizance and detention of the convicts – R. Subramanian and P. Sadanand of India Awake for Transparency (IAT) Pvt, based in Chennai. ltd. — so that they suffer the sentence imposed.

Furthermore, the High Court has barred the duo from taking any legal action against Mr Premji and his business group in any court, tribunal, authority or forum in the future.

A divisional bench consisting of Judge B. Veerappa and Judge KS Hemalekha issued the order on January 14 while allowing a criminal contempt of court motion filed by Hasham Investment and Trading Company (HI&TC) Pvt. Ltd., Wipro Limited and Mr. Premji.

“Subramanian, being the signing officer and attorney for a non-existent corporation (IAT), played a dual role in filing a number of frivolous writs, writs, criminal motions and secondary appeals originals against Mr. Premji and others by suppressing facts amounting to an abuse of process and continuing the proceeding despite the dismissal of all motions filed with the same cause of action,” the bench said.

Pointing out that Subramanian, despite the warnings, penalties and prohibitions imposed on them by the High Court earlier, had filed several cases and continued the proceedings, the House said that “his conduct is nothing but ‘a bold ride on the court and a mockery of the judicial process that not only affects the interest of the general public, but also interferes with the administration of justice by abusing the forum of various courts, which wastes judicial time valuable audience.

The bench said Subramanian made a false statement in court by stating that IAT was a “not-for-profit” company licensed under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. And he sued the litigation by misrepresenting the company as a “not-for-profit”. -profit company” without inserting the words “Private Limited” as required by law after the RoC, acting under section 8(6) of the Companies Act, revoked the license previously granted to IAT to remove the words Private Limited.

“It is undisputed that the defendants filed repeated motions for appeal etc. on behalf of a non-existent company, IAT, without using the words Private Limited. This is nothing but a brazen deletion of the identity and impersonation done solely for the purpose of misleading this court,” the bench observed.

The headquarters also noted that 42 separate proceedings were initiated by IAT through Subramanian and Sadanand after Mr. Premji’s HI&TC initiated criminal proceedings against Subhiksha Trading Services Ltd., of which Subramanian is the managing director, for refusing to honor checks in 2009. A Metropolitan Court in Bengaluru in its judgment on 31 December 2021 had found guilty and sentenced Subramanian and another person to two years imprisonment in the check dishonor case asking them to pay ₹62.63 crore at HI & TC, the bench said.

“All these indisputable facts recorded show very clearly that Subramanian is thealter egoof IAT, which is just a corporate front used by him and that all legal proceedings brought on behalf of IAT are at his behest and demand, and are funded and controlled by him because he is ” the “directing mind” of IAT, which is a mere shell corporation with no revenue and negligible expenses,” the bench observed while pointing out that the duo’s ongoing and long-running acts of litigation were squarely covered up by the contempt of court provisions of the law.

The bench also concluded that Sadanand’s “blind and indiscriminate participation” in frivolous litigation initiated by Subramanian amounts to an abuse of court process.

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