The Karnataka High Court has said that delay in disposal of case filed under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act cannot be a ground to grant interim compensation under Section 143A of the Act.
A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna allowed the petition filed by one Padmanabha T G and quashed the order dated 09.11.2021 directing the petitioner to pay 10 percent of cheque amount and remitted the matter back to the magistrate court for passing order afresh.
The bench referring to the judgment of the High Court in Crl.P.No.632/2022 said, "This Court in the aforesaid order has clearly held that the conduct of the accused would be the driving force for granting an interim compensation under Section 143A of the Amendment Act and such reasons should be recorded in the order, then such an order will become an order bearing application of mind."
It added, "If the order passed by the learned Magistrate is considered in the light of the order passed by this Court, it would undoubtedly fall foul of Section 143A of the Amendment Act. As the only reason rendered in the impugned order is that the disposal of the case would take considerable time. There is not even a mention of the conduct of the accused as a reason for granting of compensation."
Accordingly it held, "In the light of the facts afore-quoted and the judgment so rendered, the learned Magistrate is required to reconsider the application filed by the complainant under 143A of the Amendment Act and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law."
Case Title: PADMANABHA T G v. M/S RADICAL WORKS PVT. LTD
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION No.524/2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 322
Date of Order: 29TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022
Appearance: Senior Advocate D.R. RAVISHANKAR, A/W Advocate SARAVANA S for petitioner; Senior Advocate MURTHY D. NAIK, a/w Advocate MAHENDRA G for respondent