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Telangana High Court Issues Practice Directions Pursuant To Supreme Court Order On Cheque Bouncing Cases

Nupur Thapliyal
27 Jun 2021 3:42 PM GMT
Telangana High Court Issues Practice Directions Pursuant To Supreme Court Order On Cheque Bouncing Cases
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The Telangana High Court has 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 dated 21st June 2021 states that all...


The Telangana High Court has 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 dated 21st June 2021 states that all Magistrate Courts trying cases under sec. 138 of NI Act shall follow the Supreme Court's directions and shall register such cases initially as "Summary Trial Cases- Negotiable Instruments (STC-NI)".

A constitution bench of the Supreme Court had in April this year issued a set of directions to expedite the trial of cheque dishonour cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The Court had requested the High Courts to issue practice directions to the Magistrates to record reasons before converting trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Act from summary trial to summons trial. 

According to the practice directions, it has been stated that the Magistrate Courts need not insist for personal presence of complainant for registration of the complaint.

"The power of attorney holder may be allowed to file the complaint, appear and depose for the purpose of issue of process for the offence under Section 138 of the N.I.Act. An exception to the above is when the power of attorney holder of the complainant does not have a personal knowledge about the transaction, then he cannot be examined." The directions said.

It has further been stated that recording of Complainant's sworn statement under Sec.200 Cr.P.C. is not mandatory in view of the provisions under Section 145 of Negotiable Instruments Act.

Other directions issued are as follows:

- In the cases where the place of residence of the accused is situated outside the teritorial limits of the Court, the Courts shall follow Section 202 Cr.P.C. which mandates the inquiry by the Court. However, the said provision is not a hurde or barrier in respect of the cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act in view of the Constitution Bench decision. However, the Courts shall look into and consider the affidavit of the Complainant which may be filed under Section 145 of N.I.Act and the documents filed in support of his case to arrive at sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused and to issue the process.

- The compliant shall contain a statement as to computation of the amount claimed, e-Mail 1D of the complainant/accused, bank particulars of the complainant.

- The Courts shall insist for filing the verification affidavit as to the correctness of pleadings.

- If all the above are duly complied, the Magistrates shall take cognizance of the offence on the date of filing itself without any delay and shall invariably register the case. 

- The summons shall be issued to the accused by registered post/approved courier agency e-Mail and other approved digital/electronic mode in the prescribed format.

- While issuing, summons, the Courts shall see that the summons are properly addressed and sent by post and also to the e-mail address of the accused.

- The Magistrate Courts shall make every endeavour to complete the trial of these cases within the statutory prescribed time limit of six (6) months.

- After closure of the complainant side evidence, the accused shall be called upon to answer the incriminate material available in the case of the complainant against him under Section 313 Cr.P.C and his detailed answers for the said questions shall be recorded. The accused shall be permitted to file a defence statement in view of the provisions under Section 313 Cr.P.C. at this stage.

- In all the cases where the accused is found guilty of the offence under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, the Court shll consider awarding the compensation to the complainant party in view of the provisions under 138, 143 of Negotiable Instruments Act and Section 357 Cr.P.C. The Court must exercise the power and discretion to compensate the injury suffered by the complainant.

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