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Undisputed Signatures On The Cheque In Itself Are Not Sufficient For Conviction Under Section 138 Of NI Act: Punjab And Haryana High Court

Drishti Yadav
29 May 2022 6:50 AM GMT
Tripura High Court, Section 138 Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act, Justice Arindam Lodh, Section 142 (b) of the NI Act, notice, hear, accused, Sumit Deb v. Joy Deb and another,
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Punjab and Haryana High Court while dealing with an application under Section 378(4) Cr.P.C. for grant of leave to appeal against the judgment acquitting respondent in Complaint Case of 2012, held that undisputed signatures of the respondent on the cheque in itself are not sufficient for conviction under Section 138 of the Act.

The undisputed signatures of the respondent on the cheque in itself is not sufficient for conviction under Section 138 of the Act.

The bench comprising Justice Avneesh Jhingan while dismissing the application held that one of the ingredients under Section 138 of the Act is that the cheque was issued for discharge of a debt or other liability.

One of the ingredients for succeeding under Section 138 of the Act is that the cheque was issued for discharge of debt or other liability.

The court was dealing with a case where a cheque presented by the appellant herein was returned with the remarks "insufficient funds" for which a legal notice was served and the complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 was filed.

The trial court acquitted the respondent by concluding that he was able to rebut the presumptions under Section 139 of the Act and the complainant failed to discharge the onus that the cheque was issued in discharge of a debt or other liability.

The High Court, after considering the submissions of the parties, held that contentions raised by learned counsel for the applicant do not enhance the case for grant of leave to file appeal.

Court further held that the trial court has not determined the financial capability of the petitioner for lending the loan and evidence adduced by the respondent was to substantiate the defense that the security cheque was misused and that the borrowed amount was Rs.5,000/- which was repaid.

After relying on the Supreme Court's judgment in Vijay v. Laxman and another, 2013 (2) JT 562 and Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod v. State of Maharashtra and another, Criminal Appeal No. 2287 of 2009, the court held that the complainant failed to discharge the onus cast upon him.

After successful rebuttal of the presumptions by the respondent, the complainant failed to discharge the onus cast upon him that the cheque was issued for discharge of debt or other liability.

In the light of the observations made and the law laid down by the Supreme Court, the court concluded that the respondent was successful in rebutting the presumptions raised against him under Section 139 while the appellant failed to discharge the onus cast upon him. Therefore, the view taken by the trial court is plausible and no case is made out for grant of leave to appeal.

Case Title: Parveen Mehta Versus Vishal Joshi

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 119

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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