Companies which commit criminal offence can be prosecuted and sentenced to fine, though they cannot be sent to jail as they are only juristic persons. This principle was reiterated by the Supreme Court in the case, Ballarpur Industries Ltd Vs State of Tamil Nadu.

Recalling its 2005 judgment in the case, Standard Chartered Bank Vs Directorate of Enforcement, the court stated that “there is no immunity to the companies from prosecution merely because the prosecution is in respect of offences for which the punishment prescribed is mandatory imprisonment and fine. It has been held that though a company cannot be sentenced to imprisonment, it can nevertheless, be prosecuted and the court can impose punishment of fine instead.”

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