Notice U/S 138 NI Act Valid If Sent To Last Known Address Of Accused, Onus On Accused To Say Why He Did Not Receive It: Karnataka HC

Mustafa Plumber

11 July 2024 6:20 AM GMT

  • Notice U/S 138 NI Act Valid If Sent To Last Known Address Of Accused, Onus On Accused To Say Why He Did Not Receive It: Karnataka HC

    The Karnataka High Court has held that a legal notice regarding dishonour of cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act if sent by registered post to the address of the accused which is known to the complainant, would be deemed to have been served and it is for the accused to say as to why he could not receive the cover.A single judge bench of Justice V Srishananda held thus...

    The Karnataka High Court has held that a legal notice regarding dishonour of cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act if sent by registered post to the address of the accused which is known to the complainant, would be deemed to have been served and it is for the accused to say as to why he could not receive the cover.

    A single judge bench of Justice V Srishananda held thus while dismissing the petition filed by C Niranjan Yadav challenging an order by the trial court which had held him guilty under the Act and imposed a fine of Rs.75,000.

    One of the grounds raised by the accused was in regard to issuance of legal notice and non-service of the same to him. It was claimed that the complainant had accompanied the Postman and got a shara returned stating that 'Not claimed', even though the accused was not residing in the said address.

    Negating the same the court said,

    For taking cognizance of the endorsement of the returned cover notice, it is to be looked into whether the address of the accused which is known to the complainant has been properly mentioned on the registered cover. If it is sent to such a registered address, responsibility of the complainant would end and it is for the accused to say as to why he could not receive the cover.

    The bench noted that the accused in his cross-examination had categorically admitted that in the year 2013, he was staying in Gandhi Nagar along with his father. When did he vacate the house at Gandhi Nagar, when he started living in Vinoba Nagar and whether he has intimated the said aspect of the matter to the complainant or in any official record, such change of address effected was not forthcoming on record.

    Presumption under the General Clauses Act, 1897, would go to show that if a person has addressed a registered letter to the last known address that was known to a particular person, it is deemed to have been served. Under such circumstances, admission obtained in the cross-examination attributable to the complainant, is not that significant enough to hold that the entire case of the complainant is to be discarded,” it held.

    It also highlighted that the purpose of issuing notice is only to save the bonafide drawer of the cheque from criminal action. In this case, bench said, "nothing prevented the accused to pay the money after he appeared before the learned trial Magistrate or at least at the stage of the appeal, or at least before this Court.

    Thus, Court dismissed the revision petition.

    Appearance: Advocate Sateesh Chandra K V for Petitioner.

    Advocate G. Lakshmeesh Rao for Respondent.

    Citation No: 2024 LiveLaw (Kar) 313

    Case Title: C Niranjan Yadav AND D Ravi Kumar

    Case No: CRIMINAL REVISION PETITION NO.814 OF 2021

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