Companies Act, 1963

Prosecution of companies on indictment.

382.—(1) Where a company is charged either alone or jointly with some other person with an indictable offence the subsequent provisions of this section shall have effect.

(2) The company may appear at all stages of the proceedings by a representative and the answer to any question to be put to a person charged with an indictable offence may be made on behalf of the company by that representative but if the company does not so appear it shall not be necessary to put the questions and the District Court may, notwithstanding its absence, take depositions and send forward the company for trial.

(3) Any right of objection or election conferred upon the accused person by any enactment may be exercised on behalf of the company by its representative.

(4) Any plea which may be entered or signed by an accused person, whether before the District Court or before the trial judge, may be entered in writing on behalf of the company by its representative, and, if the company does not appear by its representative or, though it does so appear, fails to enter any such plea, the trial shall proceed as though the company had duly entered a plea of not guilty.

(5) In this section, “representative” in relation to a company means a person duly appointed by the company to represent it for the purpose of doing any act or thing which the representative of a company is by this section authorised to do, but a person so appointed shall not, by virtue only of being so appointed, be qualified to act on behalf of the company before any court for any other purpose.

(6) A representative for the purpose of this section need not be appointed under the seal of the company and a statement in writing purporting to be signed by a managing director of the company or by some other person (by whatever name called) having, or being one of the persons having, the management of the affairs of the company, to the effect that the person named in the statement has been appointed as the representative of the company for the purposes of this section shall be admissible without further proof as evidence that that person has been so appointed.

(7) In this section, “company” includes a company incorporated outside the State which has an established place of business in the State.