R.A. Mehta, J.
1. The petitioners, (original accused) Abhay Mills Ltd., its directors and officers, have challenged the issuance of the process for offences punishable under Section 109 of the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946.
2. The offence alleged against them is that the company had refused nomination form to one Kanubhai Bhagwandas Patel, who had desired to contest the election to the Joint Management Council of the Mill and thereby the Company committed breach of Rule 61-D(1) of Bombay Industrial Relations (Gujarat) Rules, 1961, and it is further alleged that the petitioners-accused are employers within the meaning of Section 3(14) of Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946.
2.1. Rule 61-D(1) reads asunder:
61-D-Nomination of candidates;-
(1) Every nomination shall be made on a nomination paper in Form LA and the forms shall be supplied by the Election Officer to any employee on his requisition.
It is amply clear on a bare reading of the rule that obligation to supply the nomination paper is on the Election Officer and not on the company, or its directors. The Election Officer is appointed under Rule 61-B by the employer. But that would not make the employer liable for the acts and omissions of the Election Officer appointed by the company. The requirement of Rule 61-D(1) clearly shows that the offence of non-supply of nomination form is capable of being committed by the Election Officer and not by the company or its Directors. The Election Officer is not an accused and others cannot be held to be liable even if any offence is made out for the breach of Rule 61-D. There is no allegation of abetment. Since breach of Rule 61-D by not supplying nomination form is the only allegation, the complaint against the company, its directors and officers is clearly not maintainable because no offence is disclosed against them. Hence the process issued against them requires to be quashed and set aside.
3. In the result the application is allowed. The process issued in Criminal Case No. 1033 of 1982 is quashed and set aside and the complaint shall stand dismissed against the petitioners. Rule made absolute.