Topic: Section 17. Offences by companies

[Offences by companies. (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company-

(a) (i) The person, if any, has been nominated under sub-section (2)to be in charge of, and responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company (hereafter in this section referred to as the person responsible), or

(ii) Where no person has been so nominated, 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; and

(b) The company

Shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge and that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Any company may, by order in writing, authorise any of its directors or managers (such manager being employed mainly in a managerial or supervisory capacity) to exercise all such powers and take all such steps as may be necessary or expedient to prevent the commission by the company of any offence under this Act and may give notice to the Local (Health) Authority, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, that it has nominated such director or manager as the person responsible, along with the written consent of such director or manager for being so nominated.

Explanation-Where a company has different establishments or branches or different units in any establishment or branch, different persons may be nominated under this sub-section in relation to different establishments or branches or units and the person nominated in relation to any establishment, branch or unit shall be deemed to be the person responsible in respect of such establishment, branch or unit.

(3) The person nominated under sub-section (2) shall, until-

(i) Further notice cancelling such nomination is received from the company by the Local (Health) Authority; or

(ii) He ceases to be a director or, as the case may be, manager of the company: or

(iii) He makes a request in writing to the Local (Health) Authority, under intimation to the company, to cancel the nomination which request shall be complied with by the Local (Health) Authority, whichever is the earliest, continue to be the person responsible:

Provided that where such person ceases to be a director or, as the case may be, manager of the company, he shall intimate the fact of’ such cesser to the Local (Health) Authority:

Provided further that where such person makes a request under Cl. (iii) the Local (Health) Authority shall not cancel such nomination with effect from a date earlier than the date on which the request is made.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections, where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company not being a person nominated under subsection (2), such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation-For the purposes of this section, -

(a) “Company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals:

(b) “Director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm; and

(c) “Manager” in relation to a company engaged in hotel industry, includes the person in charge of the catering department of any hotel managed or run by it.