M/S Green Earth
Asphalt & Power P. Ltd. Vs. State of Maharashtra Tr.P.S.O & Ors 
INSC 1359 (13 August 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1310 OF 2008
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl) No.618/2007) M/s Green Earth Asphalt &
...Appellant Power P. Ltd.
Versus State of
Maharashtra Tr. ...Respondents P.S.O. & Ors.
O R D E R
This appeal is
directed against the judgment and order dated 12.7.2006 passed by the High
court of Judicature at Bombay, Nagpur Bench, Nagpur in Criminal Application No.
873 of 2006 whereby and where under the application filed by the respondents
herein under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Articles 226 and
227 of the Constitution of India for quashing the Summary Criminal Case No.
72/2005 pending before the Court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Acjhalpur
The High Court in its
judgment opined that in terms of Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act
only those partners of a Firm can be proceeded, who were in-charge of the
affairs of the Company and responsible to it. No exception can be taken to the
aforesaid proposition of law. No exception can also be taken to the
observations of the High Court that every partner of the Firm cannot
automatically be roped in.
But then the High
Court despite the aforesaid observations has quashed the entire criminal
proceeding, -1- inter alia, on the premise that no averment in terms of Section
141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act has been made in the complaint petition.
Section 141 of the
Negotiable Instruments Act raises a legal fiction in terms whereof the
Directors of a Company which would include the partners of a Firm would be
deemed to have committed an offence along with the Company if they are
in-charge of the affairs of the Company and responsible to it.
It is not in dispute
that the respondent No.3 was the authorised signatory of the Company and in
that capacity he has signed the cheque. Respondent No.2 is the Firm.
In that view of the
matter the averments which were necessary to be made to rope in respondent Nos.
4 and 5 herein having not been made, the criminal proceeding could have been
quashed against them but not against the respondent Nos. 2 and 3. This aspect of
the matter is squarely covered by a decision of 89.
For the aforesaid
reasons, the appeal is allowed in part. The judgment of the High Court is set
aside so far as involvement of respondent Nos. 2 and 3 is concerned. However,
the judgment of the High Court is upheld so far as respondent Nos. 4 and 5 are
Delhi, August 13, 2008.