Delhi High Court: Anu Malhotra, J. dismissed a petition filed against the order of the trial court whereby the petitioner was summoned on cognizance having taken of the alleged commission of offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (dishonour of cheque).
Rizwan, Advocate appearing for the petitioner, relied on Jugal Sehgal v. Shamsher Singh Gogi, (2009) 14 SCC 683, to contend that the complainant was aware that the account on which the cheque was drawn was closed, and therefore the instant complaint was not maintainable. Per contra, Rohan Jaitely and Akshay Sharma, Advocates for the complainant, relied on Bir Singh v. Mukesh Kumar, (2019) 4 SCC 197, to submit that when a voluntarily signed blank cheque leaf is handed over by an accused toward some part of the payment, a presumption under Section 139 arises.
Perusing the record, the High Court noted that it was apparent that the factum of the closure of the bank account from which the cheque was drawn, had not even been mentioned the purported letter issued by the petitioner to the complainant.
Further, as regards the contention that the cheque was subsequently filled after the closure of the bank account, the Court was of the opinion that it was an aspect that could not be determined without a trial. The Court noted that the cheque was undoubtedly issued by the petitioner, and the aspect of the closure of the bank account of the petitioner prior to issuing of the cheque was a matter which had to be determined at the trial.
In such view of the matter, the Court upheld the impugned order taking cognizance of the offence punishable under Section 138 NI Act against the petitioner, and dismissed the instant petition. [Goutam Shoe Store v. Relaxo Footwear Ltd., 2019 SCC OnLine Del 10428, decided on 10-10-2019]