Chhattisgarh High Court– While deciding on a question whether the amendment carried out in Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 on 15.06.2015 would have a retrospective operation or would be prospective in nature and if such amendment has a retrospective effect whether the complaint filed by the petitioner could have been saved, the bench of Goutum Bhaduri J, observed that the said amendment is of procedural law and not substantive law, therefore it will have a retrospective effect dealing with procedure. The Court relied on T. Kaliamurthi v. Five Gori Thaikkal Wakf, (2008) 9 SCC 306 wherein it was held that “it is well settled that no statute shall be construed to have retrospective operation until its language is such that would require such conclusion. The Exception to this rule is enactments dealing with procedure”. While deciding, the Court also referred to Hitendra Vishnu Thakur v. State of Maharashtra, (1994) 4 SCC 602, where the Supreme Court observed that a procedural statute should not generally be applied retrospectively where the result would be to create new disabilities or obligations or to impose new duties in respect of transactions already accomplished.

In the instant case the petitioner filed two complaint cases under Section 138 of N.I. Act against the respondents that the two post dated cheques drawn in favour of the petitioner were dishonoured. The cheques were presented by the petitioner for encashment to the S.B.I. Branch at Chhattisgarh. The cheques were drawn on ICICI Bank, Visakhapatnam, who was the banker of the respondent. As a result a complaint was filed by the petitioner on 20.08 2014, under Section 138 of N.I. Act, 1881 before the Court of JMFC, Pamgarh and later a revision before the Session Judge, which were both dismissed. Ashutosh Ghade, appears as Amicus Curiae while counsel for the petitioner is K.A. Ansari.

Answering to another issue, whether the petitioner can claim restoration of the complaint on the strength of amended Section of 142-A(1)(2) inserted by N.I.(Amendment) Ordinance 2015, the Court observed that as the complaint was returned by JMFC, Pamgarh in the light of Dashrath Roopsingh Rathod v. State of Maharashtra, (2014) 9 SCC 129 which had binding effect until the Ordinance, 2015 came into being, the newly inserted Section 142(2) will not have the same effect as it does not extend to the complaints already returned. Hence, there was no question of enquiring into and trying the offence in absence of a complaint. A.K.R. Transport v. Kamakshi Shipping2015 SCC OnLine Chh 177, decided on 21.08.2015

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