Chairman, directors can't be held vicariously liable for criminal acts of company without stating specific individual role: Supreme Court

28th Sep,2021

Chairman, directors can't be held vicariously liable for criminal acts of company without stating specific individual role: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday decided that organization authorities like managing director, director etc can't be can't be held vicariously obligated under criminal law for offenses carried out by the organization except if there are explicit charges and averments against them as for their singular job (Ravindranatha Bajpe v. Mangalore Special Economic Zone Ltd).The Bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna held that the Magistrate needs to record his fulfillment about a by all appearances body of evidence against the blamed like chiefs for the organization and the pretended by them in their separate limits which is sine qua non for starting criminal procedures against them.

"Just in light of the fact that they are Chairman, Managing Director/Executive Director or potentially Deputy General Manager as well as Planner/Supervisor of blamed organizations, with no particular job ascribed and the pretended by them in their ability, they can't be exhibited as a charged, all the more especially they can't be expected vicariously to take responsibility for the offenses submitted by the organization," the judgment said.

The Court, along these lines, maintained the judgment of the Karnataka High Court and the Sessions Court which had saved the request passed by the Magistrate giving summons against the blamed respondents.The complainant had recorded a private protest charging was that the denounced had contrived with normal goal to lay the pipeline underneath the timetable properties having a place with the complainant with no legitimate position and right. In facilitation of that, they had intruded over the timetable properties and wrecked the compound divider and furthermore cut and destroyed trees.

Accused nos 1. what's more, 6 were organizations while the blamed nos. 2 to 5 and 7 to 13 were top officials or representatives of the organization.

It was fought that every last one of the charged had normal aim to lay the pipeline by harming the property of the complainant. With that expectation, they have carried out criminal trespass and caused harms. Accordingly, the complainant asked preliminary court to take discernment of the matter and to give measure against the accused. Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Mangalore by a request dated September 24, 2013 coordinated to enroll the body of evidence against all the blamed, i.e, denounced nos. 1 to 13 for offenses culpable under Sections 427 (wickedness making misfortune property), 447 (criminal trespass), 506 (criminal terrorizing) and 120B (criminal intrigue).

Accused nos. 1 to 9 favoured criminal amendment petitions under the watchful eye of the Sessions Court which permitted something similar and subdued and put away the request passed by Magistrate regarding blamed nos. 1 to 8. The request was affirmed as for denounced no. 9. The High Court affirmed the request for the Sessions Court prompting the current requests under the steady gaze of the Supreme Court.