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Sec. 138 NI Act- Chhattisgarh High Court Issues Practice Directions Pursuant To Supreme Court Order On Cheque Bouncing Cases

Nupur Thapliyal
4 July 2021 11:38 AM GMT
Sec. 138 NI Act- Chhattisgarh High Court Issues Practice Directions Pursuant To Supreme Court Order On Cheque Bouncing Cases
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The Chhattisgarh High Court issued practice directions to Magistrates and Trial Courts having jurisdiction to try offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court (In Re Expeditious Trial Of Cases Under Section 138 of N.I Act) regarding the trial of Cheque bouncing cases.The practice directions that came into force with immediate effect...

The Chhattisgarh High Court issued practice directions to Magistrates and Trial Courts having jurisdiction to try offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court (In Re Expeditious Trial Of Cases Under Section 138 of N.I Act) regarding the trial of Cheque bouncing cases.

The practice directions that came into force with immediate effect dated 2nd July 2021 states that Magistrates having jurisdiction to try offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 shall record cogent and sufficient reasons before converting a complaint under Section 138 of the N.l. Act from summary trial to summons trial in exercise of power under the second proviso of section 143 of NI Act.

"Due care and caution shall be exercised in this regard and the conversion of summary trial to summons trial shall not be in a mechanical manner." It directs.

Furthermore, it has been directed thus:

"On receipt of any such complaint under Section 138 of N. Act, wherever it is Found that any accused is resident of the area beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the Magistrate concerned, an inquiry shall be conducted bythe Magistrate to arrive at sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused as prescribed under Section 202 Cr.P.c."

Other directions issued are as follows:

- While conducting any such inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.c, the evidence oF witnesses on behalf of the complainant shall be permitted to be taken on affidavit. In suitable cases, the Magistrate may restrict the inquiry to examination of documents for satisfaction as to the sufficiency of grounds for proceeding under the said provision.

- Trial Court shall treat service of summons in one complaint under Section 138 N.l. Act forming part of a transaction, as deemed service in respect oF all complaints Filed before the same Court relating to dishonor oF cheques issued as part of the same transaction.

- Trial Courts have no inherent power to review or recall the issue of Summons in relation to complaint filed under Section 138 of N.lI. Act. However, the same shall not affect the power of the Trial Court under Section 322 of CrP.C. to revisit the order of issue of process in case it is brought to the court's notice that it lacks jurisdiction to try the complaint.

- Section 258 of Cr.PC. has no applicability to complaints under Section 138 of N.l. Act. The words "as far as may be" in Section 143 are used only in respect of applicability of Sections 262 to 265 of the Code and the Summary procedure to be followed for trials under the said Code

- The Appellate Courts before which appeals against the judgments in complaint under Section 138 of N.lI. Act are pending are directed to make an effort to settle the dispute through mediation.

Click Here To Read Directions

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