The Judgment in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod regarding the Territorial Jurisdiction in Cheque Bouncing Case is Prospective only ; the category of cases where proceedings have gone to the stage of Section 145(2) or beyond will continue in the Courts where it is now pending;
The Three Judge Bench Judgment in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod Vs. State of Maharashtra & Anr. which held that a Complaint of Dis-honour of Cheque can be filed only to the Court within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed, which is where the cheque is dishonoured by the bank on which it is drawn - will not affect the pending Cases where proceedings have gone to the stage of Section 145(2) or beyond. The Court clarified that the Judgment is prospective only
In Para 20 of the main Judgment the Court held as follows;
“We are quite alive to the magnitude of the impact that the present decision shall have to possibly lakhs of cases pending in various Courts spanning across the country.
One approach could be to declare that this judgment will have only prospective pertinence, i.e. applicability to Complaints that may be filed after this pronouncement. However, keeping in perspective the hardship that this will continue to bear on alleged accused/respondents who may have to travel long distances in conducting their defence, and also mindful of the legal implications of proceedings being permitted to continue in a Court devoid of jurisdiction, this recourse in entirety does not commend itself to us. Consequent on considerable consideration we think it expedient to direct that only those cases where, post the summoning and appearance of the alleged Accused, the recording of evidence has commenced as envisaged in Section 145(2) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, will proceeding continue at that place.
To clarify, regardless of whether evidence has been led before the Magistrate at the pre-summoning stage, either by affidavit or by oral statement, the Complaint will be maintainable only at the place where the cheque stands dishonoured. To obviate and eradicate any legal complications, the category of Complaint cases where proceedings have gone to the stage of Section 145(2) or beyond shall be deemed to have been transferred by us from the Court ordinarily possessing territorial jurisdiction, as now clarified, to the Court where it is presently pending. All other Complaints (obviously including those where the accused/respondent has not been properly served) shall be returned to the Complainant for filing in the proper Court, in consonance with our exposition of the law. If such Complaints are filed/refiled within thirty days of their return, they shall be deemed to have been filed within the time prescribed by law, unless the initial or prior filing was itself time barred”.