Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: G. Jayachandran, J., dismissed an appeal directed against the judgment of the first Appellate Court whereby it had reversed the conviction and sentence of the respondent-accused awarded by the trial court for an offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (dishonour of cheque).

As per the appellant-complainant, he had lent Rs 10 lakhs to the accused, who issued three cheques in his favour for discharging his liability. However, on presentation to the bank, the cheques were returned dishonoured with an endorsement “account closed”. Subsequent to codal formalities, a case was filed against the accused and the trial court convicted him for an offence punishable under Section 138. On appeal by the accused, the first Appellate Court acquitted him. Aggrieved thereby, the complainant filed the present appeal.

The High Court noted that the first Appellate Court found that the cheques in question were given to the complainant for payment of taxes and compensation to tenants for vacating certain premises. And a criminal complaint was also filed against the complainant for misappropriation of blank cheques and jewels. On perusing the record, the Court held that a principal-agent relationship was clearly established between the parties. It was observed, “When there is principal-agent relationship, unless and until the material evidence are placed to prove legally enforceable debt, mere issuance of cheques cannot lead to the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.” Stating that the trial court failed to properly consider the defense exhibits, the Court held that there was no merit in the appeal and the impugned order passed by the first Appellate Court required no interference. [G. Dhanasekar v. T.A. Jayaprakash, 2019 SCC OnLine Mad 820, decided on 19-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: The Bench of M.V. Muralidharan, J. upheld the order of respondent’s acquittal for an offence punishable under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 while holding that “the different ink, pen, and manipulation of the amount would show that the complainant had failed to demonstrate due execution of the cheque.”

The present appeal was directed against the judgment of acquittal passed by the Additional District Judge reversing the conviction of the respondent under Section 138 (for dishonour of cheque).

Appellant submitted that respondent borrowed a sum of Rs 1,50,000 from him and issued a cheque drawn on ING Vysya Bank towards his liability to repay the same. However, the cheque was dishonoured. The appellant initiated the process under Section 138 and the trial court convicted the respondent holding him guilty. The respondent appealed to the ADJ who reversed his conviction as mentioned above.

The High Court observed that presumption in favour of complainant contemplated under Sections 118 and 139 of NI Act comes to play only on the satisfaction of Court that the cheque in question was duly executed. It was explained that “execution” of the cheque does not mean the mere handing over a “blank cheque”, but it means that the cheque is given in the full form, ” the complainant cannot be justified in doing material alteration beyond the knowledge of the accused.”

It was stated, it would be certainly unlawful if a complainant is allowed to fill up details of cheque beyond the knowledge of the accused such as filling up date and amount in a blank cheque.” In the present case, figure denoting the amount was found to be written in different inks and also the handwriting in as much as digits and words were concerned also differed. In such view of the matter of the Court did not find any illegality in the impugned order. Thus, the petition was dismissed. [E. Dhanuskodi v. D. Sreedhar, 2018 SCC OnLine Mad 5124, dated 08-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. allowed a petition for quashing of an FIR registered under Section 498-A, 406 and 34 IPC.

The petitioner, who was the complainant in the above said FIR, contended that she had reconciled her disputed with the respondents- her husband and his family– and had started residing with them. She was present in-person before the Court and submitted that if the said FIR continued, it may cause disruption to her family life once again. As such, she approached the Court for quashing the said FIR.

The High Court, on considering the submissions, held that keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and the fact that the complainant herself approached the Court for quashing of the subject FIR in the interest of protecting her family ties, continuation of criminal proceedings would be an exercise in futility; and justice in the case demanded that the dispute between parties be put to an end and peace restored. Furthermore, securing the ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor, the Court held that it would be expedient to quash the subject FIR and the consequent proceedings emanating therefrom. The petition was allowed accordingly. [Pooja Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi),2018 SCC OnLine Del 12040, dated 23-10-2018]