(1) These related revision proceedings involve the same point, though two separate proceedings in revision have been filed, as concerning different years. On the facts, there is no dispute. It is conceded, with reference to the scope of Ss. 220(1)(a) and 220(3) of the Companies Act, (as amended by Act 65 of 1960), that 'three copies of the balance sheet and profit and loss account, signed by the Managing Director........' were not filed with the Registrar along with the annual return. The technical offences would thus appear to be indisputably established.
(2) But the point urged by learned counsel for the revision petitioner is that S. 220(1) begins 'after the balance sheet and the profit and loss account have been laid before the company at the annual general meeting as aforesaid'. It is not in dispute that under earlier provisions of the same Act, namely, Ss. 159, 166 and 210, the balance sheet and the annual profit and loss account have to be laid before the company at the annual general meeting, and that there are penalties provided for non-compliance. What is now urged is that other remedies might be open to the revision petitioner, in a prosecution relating to non-compliance with the requirements of S. 210, as there are certain provisos to that section bearing upon the element of volition, or of deliberate negligence. In any event, the revision petitioner admits the default, that the profit and loss account and the balance sheet were not placed at the annual general meeting as required by law. The revision petitioner's desire to take advantage of this default, and to plead, in effect, that as a consequence of the default, the occasion referred to in the opening words of S. 220(1) has not arisen. Reliance is placed upon the decision of the Bombay High Court in Emperor v. Pioneer Clay and Industrial Works, AIR 1948 Bom. 357 which related to similar provisions under the old Companies Act. Sec. 134(4).
(3) I do not think that the point is really sound. It was held by Ramaswami J. in In re, G. Appayya, : AIR1952Mad800 that, with regard to such successive stages provided for in the Companies Act, and penalties imposed by the statute for non-compliance of essential terms, a party cannot take advantage of his previous default. In State of Bombay v. Bhandhan Ram, : 1961CriLJ319 , their Lordships of the Supreme Court have referred to the decision in AIR 1948 Bom. 357 and distinguished it, with regard to its restricted applicability. Their Lordships state in explicit terms that 'the principle that a person charged with an offence cannot rely on his own default is correct.' Under those circumstances, though it may be that a penalty may not be imposed for non-compliance with earlier sections requiring the preparation of these returns, concerning which I am expressing no opinion at this stage, the revision petitioner cannot take advantage of his own default, which he has fully admitted, as a foundation for a plea that the subsequent failure to file three copies of the returns before the Registrar is not an offence.
(4) The convictions and sentences are, therefore, correct, and I do not think the latter call for any interference. The proceedings are dismissed.
(5) Petitions dismissed.