53. In any penal proceedings, the operator of a packing-house or an establishment where the offence was committed or of the transport company whose vehicle is used to commit the offence and the real offender are liable to the penalties imposed for an offence against this Act, even if it cannot be proved that the latter was acting under the direction of the operator.
Evidence that the offence was committed by a person, identified or not, in the employ of such operator shall be, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, evidence that the offence was committed with the authorization and under the direction of the latter.
At the option of the prosecutor, the real offender and the operator of a packing-house, of an establishment or of a transport company may be sued jointly or separately. However, for the same offence, the judge shall pronounce only one sentence on one or the other of them.
1974, c. 35, s. 44; 1986, c. 95, s. 242; 1990, c. 4, s. 678; 2000, c. 26, s. 51.