Section 142A of NI Act, 1881 gives retrospectivity to Section 142 of the Act

Supreme Court: Dealing with the nature of Sections 142 and 142A of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881, the Court held that Section 142(2)(a), amended through the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2015, vests jurisdiction for initiating proceedings for the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, inter alia in the territorial jurisdiction of the Court, where the cheque is delivered for collection (through an account of the branch of the bank where the payee or holder in due course maintains an account).

The bench of JS Khehar and R. Banumati, JJ further held that that insofar as the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is concerned, on the issue of jurisdiction, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, would have to give way to the provisions of the instant enactment on account of the non-obstante clause in sub-section (1) of Section 142A of the NI Act.

Explaining that the words “as if that sub-section had been in force at all material times” used with reference to Section 142(2), in Section 142A(1) of NI Act gives retrospectivity to the provision, the Court held that insofar as the territorial jurisdiction for initiating proceedings emerging from the dishonor of the cheque is concerned, the order given in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod vs. State of Maharashtra, (2014) 9 SCC 12 is not applicable. It was further held that in the present case, the Judicial Magistrate would have the territorial jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proceedings initiated by the appellant under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, after the promulgation of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2015. [Bridgestone India Pvt. Ltd. v. Inderpal Singh,  decided on 24.11.2015]

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