Chennai: The Madras High Court had quashed a criminal case pending against Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited (TNUIFSL) before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Egmore, on charges of not furnishing the cost audit report for the financial year 2013-2104.
Justice M Nirmal Kumar passed the orders on allowing the original petition filed by Vikram Kapoor, the then director of TNUIFSL and 8 other nominee directors of the company who had faced trial under section 482 of CrPC for offence under section 148 (6) read with 148(8) of the Companies Act, 2013.
The petitioners sought direction to quash the criminal case filed by the deputy registrar of companies against the TNUIFSL. When the matter was taken up, the judge held that for any violation under Section 148 of the Companies Act, a fine can be imposed. Hence, prosecution ought to have been initiated within a period of six months.
“In this case, the case complaint was filed and taken cognizance only in 2018, which is beyond the period of limitation. Also, a circular issued by the ministry of corporate affairs in 2020 directed all registrars of companies not to initiate civil or criminal proceedings against independent directors or non-executive directors. Therefore, the criminal original case pending before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate is quashed,” the judge ruled.
According to D Simon, central government standing counsel, TNUIFSL falls under the cost audit, and the cost audit report was not submitted for 2013-2014 despite notices being served.