CBI | Confession of a Company and the sentencing thereafter — Court clears ‘imprisonment and fine’ for a juristic person, construes with practical wisdom

Central Bureau of Investigation, Ghaziabad (CBI): Shivank Singh, Special Judicial Magistrate (CBI) after considering the evidences and the confession made by the authorised representative of the accused, convicted Jagdamba Petroleum India Pvt. Ltd. for the charges under Sections 120B read with 420, 467, 468, 471 and for the substantive offences under Section 420 and 471 of IPC and under Sections 7 & 9 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

In the instant matter, the CBI had alleged that Jagdamba Petroleum India (P) Ltd and its directors were a party to a criminal conspiracy during the year 2001 for buying 3472.9 MT of imported Naphtha on high sea sale basis from Adani Exports and Rahul Sales, Chandigarh. It was further alleged that a large quantity was diverted or sold through forged documents wherein the quantity so disbursed to companies were either closed or were non-existent or had paid but did not receive the solvent. The course of events took a turn when the director of the Company died and the proceedings were abated against him but since the proceedings against the Company were not abated, therefore another authorised representative was authorised to represent. The authorised representative so appointed, later moved an application for confession of the crimes, at the stage of prosecution evidence.

The Court after considering all the evidences placed and the confession made, convicted the accused of the offences under Sections 120B read with 420, 467, 468, 471 and for substantive offences under section 420 & 471 of IPC and under Sections 7 & 9 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

What was gripping was the fact that while sentencing, the Court gave a miss to the mandatory sentence of imprisonment and fine, giving due priority to the practicality of the situation wherein it becomes impossible to imprison a Company, being a juristic person.[CBI v. Jagdamba Petroleum India Pvt. Ltd., RC- 6 (E)/2003/EOW-II/DLI, decided on 17-08-2021]


Agatha Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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