Dis-honour of Cheque; When it is proved that Complainant had no source of income to lend the amount to the accused, accused is entitled to acquittal: SC [Read the Judgment]

Dis-honour of Cheque; When it is proved that Complainant had no source of income to lend the amount to the accused, accused is entitled to acquittal: SC [Read the Judgment]

A two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of  Justice Gopal Gowda and Justice Nagappan in K. Subramani Vs.K. Damodara Naidu [Crl Appeal No; 2402/2014 ] acquitted the accused  (for an offence U/S 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act) by accepting the trial Court verdict which held that that the complainant had no source of income to lend a sum of Rs.14 lakhs to the accused and he failed to prove that there is legally recoverable debt payable by the accused to him.

The Supreme Court held as follows;

“In the present case the complainant and the accused were working as Lecturers in a Government college at the relevant time and the alleged loan of Rs.14 lakhs is claimed to have been paid by cash and it is disputed. Both of them were governed by the Government Servants’ Conduct Rules which prescribes the mode of lending and borrowing. There is nothing on record to show that the prescribed mode was followed. The source claimed by the complainant is savings from his salary and an amount of Rs.5 lakhs derived by him from sale of site No.45 belonging to him. Neither in the complaint nor in the chief-examination of the complainant, there is any averment with regard to the sale price of site No.45. The concerned sale deed was also not produced. Though the complainant was an income-tax assessee he had admitted in his evidence that he had not shown the sale of site No.45 in his income-tax return. On the contrary the complainant has admitted in his evidence that in the year 1997 he had obtained a loan of Rs.1,49,205/- from L.I.C. It is pertinent to note that the alleged loan of Rs.14 lakhs is claimed to have been disbursed in the year 1997 to the accused. Further the complainant did not produce bank statement to substantiate his claim. The trial court took into account the testimony of the wife of the complaint in another criminal case arising under Section 138 of the N.I. Act in which she has stated that the present appellant/accused had not taken any loan from her husband. On a consideration of entire oral and documentary evidence the trial court came to the conclusion that the complainant had no source of income to lend a sum of Rs.14 lakhs to the accused and he failed to prove that there is legally recoverable debt payable by the accused to him.

10. In our view the said conclusion of the trial court has been arrived at on proper appreciation of material evidence on record. The impugned judgment of remand made by the High Court in this case is unsustainable and liable to be set aside.”