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The Municipality Bangalore was held to be body corporate for prosecution of its commissioners by pollution control board; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice M R Shah

In the present case the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board filed a complaint in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at Bangalore praying for taking cognizance of the offence punishable under Sections 43 and 44 of the Act, 1974 against the accused persons and to punish them for the offences. In the complaint, the City Municipal Council, Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore was impleaded as accused No.1 and respondent No.2 was the Commissioner of the City Municipal Council and respondent Nos. 3 to 7 were all Ex Commissioners, who had held the office of Commissioner from different periods from 03.11.2004 till the date of filing of complaint. The complaint stated that Board had accorded a consent to the accused persons to discharge sewage effluent after treatment which was expired on 30.06.2006 and thereafter the same has not been renewed. One of the conditions of the said consent was that the accused persons should provide Sewage Treatment Plant within six months to treat sewage generated in the City Municipal Council Area which has not been done so far, nor any steps have been taken in that regard, and on the other hand, the accused persons have continuously discharging the untreated sewage into the water bodies like ponds, lakes, natural valleys. 

The High Court u/s 482 Cr.P.C. quashed the complaint. Setting aside the Judgment, the SC {KARNATAKA STATE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD v. B. HEERA NAIK & ORS. ETC.} holds that the Explanation of Section 47 of Act, 1974 and the Explanation (a) to Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act are pari materia. It was held that the Explanation (a) of Sec 141, therefore, is clear that the definition of Company as given therein is wider than the definition of Company in the Companies Act and it includes any body corporate, which is also applicable in the present case. 

Accordingly, it was held that Section 47 can be resorted to for offences by body corporate and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board by filing a complaint before the Magistrate for taking cognizance of offence under Section 49 did not commit an error. The judgment of the HC was set aside and the Magistrate directed to proceed with the complaint as per law.

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