The following principles emerge :
(i) The primary responsibility is on the complainant to make specific averments as are required under the law in the complaint so as to make the accused vicariously liable. For fastening the criminal liability, there is no presumption that every Director knows about the transaction. (ii) Section 141 does not make all the Directors liable for the offence. The criminal liability can be fastened only on those who, at the time of the commission of the offence, were in charge of and were responsible for the conduct of the business of the company.
(iii) Vicarious liability can be inferred against a company registered or incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 only if the requisite statements, which are required to be averred in the complaint/petition, are made so as to make 11 WP-3050-09.sxw
accused therein vicariously liable for offence committed by company along with averments in the petition containing that accused were in-charge of and responsible for the business of the company and by virtue of their position they are liable to be proceeded with.
(iv) Vicarious liability on the part of a person must be pleaded and proved and not inferred.
(v) If accused is Managing Director or Joint Managing Directer then it is not necessary to make specific averment in the complaint and by virtue of their position they are liable to be proceeded with.
(vi) If accused is a Director or an Officer of a company who signed the cheques on behalf of the company then also it is not necessary to make specific averment in the complaint.
(vii) The person sought to be made liable should be in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company at the relevant time. This has to be averred as a fact as there is no deemed liability of a Director in such cases."
Bombay High Court
Mr. Rajesh M. Pamanai vs All Having Address At 2Nd Floor on 29 April, 2011
Bench: J. H. Bhatia
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 3050 OF 2009
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 692 OF 2011