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SC quashes complaint against shareholder for theft of docs from registered office as it wasn’t deceitful intention

May 13, 2019[2019] 105 taxmann.com 174 (SC)
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CL : Where respondents who are shareholders of appellant Company and had filed a Company petition under Sections 397 and 398 of Companies Act, 1956 before Company Law Board (CLB) alleging oppression and mismanagement in affairs of appellant company i.e. Birla Corporation and appellant had filed a criminal complaint of theft of 54 documents on basis of which petition was filed, it is held that use of documents by respondents in judicial proceedings is to substantiate their case namely, "oppression and mismanagement" of administration of appellant-Company and their plea in other pending proceedings and such use of documents in litigations pending between parties would not amount to theft. No "dishonest intention" or "wrongful gain" could be attributed to respondents and there is no "wrongful loss" to appellant so as to attract the ingredients of Sections 378 and 380 IPC. Therefore, criminal proceedings against respondents were to be quashed

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