The Calcutta High Court, in M.K. Products vs. Blue Ocean Exports (P) Ltd. & Ors., has said that a complainant cannot challenge the order of acquittal before the Sessions Court under the proviso to Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in a case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
The judgement delivered by Justice Sankar Acharyya dealt with the question of whether an acquittal in a case of dishonour of cheque, instituted on a complaint, could be challenged at Sessions Court without the grant of special leave by the High Court.
Relying on the Kerala High Court decision in Omana Jose vs. State of Kerala and Others (which in turn discusses the principles in case Subhash Chand vs. State (Delhi Administration), the court reached the decision to uphold the impugned order. The relevant observations from the Kerala High Court’s judgement in that matter which the Calcutta High Court relied upon were:
In Para 35 of the above mentioned judgement, it was held that the complainant in a case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act (dealing with the dishonour of cheque) cannot challenge the order of acquittal before the Sessions Court under the proviso to Section 372 of the CrPC and his remedy is only to file an appeal to the High Court with special leave under Section 378 (4) of the CrPC. Applying this rationale, the court held: The rationale of the said judgement in Omana Jose’s case is applicable here and is followed by this court in view of the facts and circumstances of this case under consideration.”
Thus, the High Court upheld the legality of the Sessions Court to dismiss the appeal filed by the petitioner and the impugned order was left without interference.
Read the Judgment here.