Supreme Court on Wednesday 22nd February said that in a cheque bounce case when the complainant/payee is a company, an authorized employee can represent the company.
The bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli said that the issue of proper authorisation and knowledge can only be an issue for trial and in such matters entertaining a petition under Section 482 to quash the order taking cognizance by the Magistrate would be unjustified.
Before the Apex Court, the complainant company contended that the High Court has misconstrued the principle enunciated in A.C. Narayanan to nonsuit it. The accused, on the other hand, contended that there should be explicit averment to the effect that the person filing the complaint is authorized by the complainant and has knowledge of the transaction in question so as to maintain the complaint.
The court observed that all that is necessary is to demonstrate before the learned Magistrate that the complaint filed is in the name of the "payee" and if the person who is
prosecuting the complaint is different from the payee, the authorisation therefore and that the contents of the complaint are within his knowledge. What can be treated as an explicit averment, cannot be put in a straitjacket but will have to be gathered from the circumstance and the manner in which it has been averred and conveyed, based on the facts of each case. If at all, there is any serious dispute with regard to the person prosecuting the complaint not being authorized or if it is to be demonstrated that the person who filed the complaint has no knowledge of the transaction and, as such, that person could not have instituted and prosecuted the complaint it would be open for the accused to dispute the position and establish the same during the course of the trial.
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