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Mita India Pvt. Ltd. vs. Mahendra Jain - (Supreme Court) (20 Feb 2023)

Though the general power of attorney holder cannot delegate his powers to another person but the same can be delegated, when there is a specific clause permitting sub-delegation



The Appellant-company, awarded a contract to the Respondent – Mahendra Jain for shifting of 33 K.V. electrical overhead line at its plant at Dewas. In connection with the said contract, the Appellant-company by mistake made excess payment. The Respondent agreed to refund the excess amount and issued two cheques to the Appellant-company for its refund. The cheques were dishonoured on account of instructions “stop payment”.

The Appellant-company through its authorised representative Ripanjit Singh Kohli filed a complaint in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dewas under Section 138 read with Section 141/142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. In the said complaint, Respondent moved two applications – first alleging that the complaint has not been filed by an authorised person and the second alleging that Kavindersingh Anand cannot depose before the court as the complaint nowhere states that, he is having knowledge about the facts and the transactions.

The first application was rejected by the trial court vide order. The second application was rejected whereupon a criminal revision was filed which was dismissed vide order. These three orders were assailed by the Respondent by invoking jurisdiction under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.). The High Court by the impugned order has allowed the petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. and has ordered for setting aside the above orders on the ground that, the complaint was not filed by the person authorised as Kavindersingh Anand, who was given the power of attorney, had no authority of law to sub-delegate the said power to the authorised representative Ripanjit Singh Kohli. Secondly, on the ground that Kavindersingh Anand is not authorised to depose on behalf of the company.

The law is settled that though the general power of attorney holder cannot delegate his powers to another person but the same can be delegated when there is a specific clause permitting sub-delegation. A careful reading of the general power of attorney would reveal that the Appellant-company in its meeting of the board of directors held on 1st May, 2010 has resolved to appoint one of its directors Kavindersingh Anand as its attorney of the company who was specifically authorised vide paragraph 2 to appoint counsels or special attorney(s). The language deployed, i.e., to appoint special attorneys is clear enough to indicate that the power of attorney holder has been authorised to appoint special attorneys in addition to the counsel for conducting cases and for doing other relevant and material acts in that connection.

The High Court manifestly erred in recording the above opinion when the affidavit of the power of attorney holder was on record containing that he has personal knowledge of the transactions. As the power of attorney holder is said to be having due knowledge about the transactions, he has the capacity to depose and the trial court or the Revisional Court committed no error of law in rejecting the applications of the respondent. Accordingly, the High Court erred in interfering with the orders of the trial court in passing the impugned order. Accordingly, the order is set aside and those of the trial court and the revisional court are restored. Appeal allowed.


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