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Negotiable Instruments Act Being Penal Statute Should Receive Strict Construction: Delhi High Court

[21 December 2021]
The Delhi High Court has observed that the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 should receive strict construction for the reason of being a penal statute. Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri also observed that specific averments in a criminal complaint which satisfies the requirements of sec. 141 of the Act are imperative in nature. Sec. 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act talks about the offences by companies. It states that “if a person committing an offence under sec. 138 is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.” The Court was dealing with two petitions filed by a dormant Director out of the many Directors of one company namely Daily Life Retail and Trading Pvt. Ltd., seeking quashing of the complaint cases and other proceedings initiated under sec. 138 and 141 of the Act.

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