Decided on May 24,2007

DEV SAREEN Appellant


- (1.) THE petitioner seeks quashing of criminal proceedings filed by the respondent on allegations of commission of offence under sections 138/141, Negotiable Instruments Act.
(2.) THE respondent/complainant initiated the proceedings on 11. 1. 1999 against M/s. International Agro and Allied and others. It was alleged in the complaint that the present petitioner, accused No. 4 alongwith others was a director in-charge of the affairs of the company. According to the complaint, a cheque was issued in favour of the complainant which upon presentation was not honoured. Notice was issued and thereafter a complaint was filed on 11. 1. 1999. It is contended that the averments in the complaint, particularly para 13 do not measure up to the standard prescribed to attract vicarious liability as provided for under Section 141, so far as the directors are concerned. The said averment reads as follows: "that the accused No. 1 is a company/ firm and the accused Nos. 2 to 9 were in-charge and were responsible to the accused No. 1 for the conduct of the business of the accused No. 1, at the time when offence was committed. Hence, the accused Nos. 2 to 9 in addition to the accused No. 1, are liable to be prosecuted and punished in accordance with law by this Hon'ble Court, as provided by Section 141 of the NI act, 1881. Further the offence has been committed by the accused No. 1 with the consent and connivance of the accused Nos. 2 to 9. "
(3.) LEARNED Counsel for the respondent urged that the judgment of the Supreme court in SMS Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Neeta bhalla and Anr. and the subsequent ruling in Saroj Kumar Poddar v. State (NCT of delhi) and Anr. as well as N. K. Wahi v. Shekhar Singh and Ors. to conclude the issue. It was contended that the Court ruled that in order to fasten vicarious liability in accordance with Section 141 the averments as to the role of the concerned directors are to be specific. The description should be clear and there should be some unambiguous allegation as to how the concerned directors were alleged to be in charge of the conduct and affairs of the company.;

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