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Section 138 NI Act - Cheque Bounce Case Can Be Closed If Convict Pays Fine Directly To Complainant: Kerala High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 Jan 2022 7:48 AM GMT
Section 138 NI Act - Cheque Bounce Case Can Be Closed If Convict Pays Fine Directly To Complainant: Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court observed that a convict in a cheque bounce case can pay the fine amount directly to the complainant. It is not necessary to deposit the fine amount in court.In this case, while disposing of the Criminal Revision Petition filed by the accused, the High Court had affirmed the conviction but modified the sentence of simple imprisonment as a sentence to pay fine...

The Kerala High Court observed that a convict in a cheque bounce case can pay the fine amount directly to the complainant. It is not necessary to deposit the fine amount in court.

In this case, while disposing of the Criminal Revision Petition filed by the accused, the High Court had affirmed the conviction but modified the sentence of simple imprisonment as a sentence to pay fine of Rs.7,17,000/-. The accused was granted a period of six months to remit the amount of fine in the trial court. 

Thereafter, the accused paid the entire amount of compensation/fine directly to the complainant and a receipt was also issued by the complainant acknowledging the payment. The said receipt was produced before the trial court and the accused requested the trial court to close the case and to recall the non-bailable warrant pending against him. But, the said petition was dismissed by the trial court holding that since the direction was to remit the amount of fine in the trial court and since she has directly paid the amount to the complainant, the court is not in a position to accept the receipt of acknowledgement of money issued by the complainant.

Challenging this order, the accused approached the High Court. The complainant also filed an affidavit stating that she has received the entire amount of compensation and a receipt has been issued by her.

In this regard, Justice Viju Abraham referred to the following observations made in Sivankutty v. John Thomas (2012(4) KLT 21) :

"".............. But if the Court permits payment of fine as compensation to the complainant directly, it enables the accused to pay the entire fine as compensation directly to the complainant, as is the case with the sentence in C.C.785/2003, the Magistrate cannot insist that fine is to be paid in Court and it cannot be paid directly to the complainant and is to be paid to the complainant only after making necessary entries in Form No.20. In such a case when the statement is filed by the complainant regarding satisfaction of the compensation, the Magistrate has to make necessary entry in Form No.20, based on that statement, as in the case of compensation payable under S.357(3) of Code of Criminal Procedure. …........""

In the instant case, the Court noted that there is "substantial compliance" with the order to pay fine. The complainant has admitted the receipt of the entire fine amount.

Therefore, the Court directed the court below to make necessary entry in the fine register recording the factum of settlement between the parties, as if fine is realised and paid to the complainant.


Case name: Rajeswary vs State of Kerala

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 2

Case no.: Crl.MC No.6699 of 2021

Coram: Justice Viju Abraham

Counsel: V. John Sebastian Ralph for petitioner, C. Anilkumar for respondent, PP S. Rekha for state


Click here to Read/Download Order



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