Authorised employee can file complaint on behalf of company: HC

Dismisses petition challenging issuance of process in cheque bounce case 
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Srinagar, Oct 24: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has held that an authorised employee can file a complaint on behalf of a company and in case authority of the attorney is disputed it would be a matter of trial and not the ground to dismiss the complaint at the threshold.  

“From the analysis of law on the subject, it is clear that in a case where the complainant is a company, an authorized employee can represent the said company,” a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar said while dismissing a petition, challenging a complaint filed by HDFC bank against a person for offences under section 138 and 142 of Negotiable Instruments Act as post-dated cheques issued by him were dishonored for liquidating credit facility to the tune of Rs 2.75 crore from the Bank availed in 2017.

Underscoring that once an averment to this effect is made in the complaint, the court said, it is sufficient for the Magistrate to take cognizance and issue process.

“It also emerges that in case authority of a person filing a complaint on behalf of the company is disputed by the accused, the same would be a matter of trial to be decided during the course of trial and it would not be a ground to dismiss the complaint at the threshold itself.”

The court pointed out that the argument that production of original Power of Attorney was necessary at the time of taking cognizance of the complaint under Section 138 of NI Act “is not the correct position of law.”

“Even if we take the statement of the Attorney Holder of the complainant out of consideration, still then there is enough material on record of the trial court that would be sufficient for the issuing process against the petitioner,” the court said. Besides, the averments made in the complaint, the court said, the bank has placed on record the cheques in question, the memo of dishonor, demand notice and the receipt depicting the issuance of notice. “When this material is considered, even in the absence of the statement of the Attorney Holder of the complainant, a case for issuance of process against the petitioner is made out,” it said.

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