20. Whoever contravenes any provision of this Act or any rule made or any condition of the registration granted, thereunder for which no punishment is separately provided in this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.
Where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly; Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge of that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
Not withstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Explanation - For the purposes of this section, -
(a)“company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b)“director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint made by –
(a)the Appropriate Authority concerned, or any officer authorized in this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, Appropriate Authority; or
(b)a person who has given notice of not less than sixty days, in such manner as may be prescribed, to the Appropriate Authority concerned, of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint in the court.
No court other than that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
Where a complaint has been made under clause (b) of sub-section (1), the court may, on demand by such person, direct the Appropriate Authority to make available copies of the relevant records in its possession to such person.