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Under Section 143-A (4) of the NI Act, if accused is acquitted the complainants shall be directed to repay the accused with interest at prevailing bank rate-High Court of Delhi.

Under Section 143-A (4) of the NI Act, if accused is acquitted the complainants shall be directed to repay the accused with interest at prevailing bank rate-High Court of Delhi.

In the event of any default on the part of accused to pay the amount, the complainant is at liberty to initiate appropriate proceedings as provided u/S 143- A of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.” This present case of M S JSB CARGO AND FREIGHT VS STATE (CRL.M.C.2663/2021) which was decided by the single bench of HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE ANU MALHOTRA.

The petitioners herein i.e. M/s   JSB cargo and freight forwarder Ltd. i.e. the petitioner no.1 of whom Mr. Vipin Tondak and Mrs.Kunti Devi arrayed as the petitioner nos.2 & 3 thereof are stated to be the directors thereof as per the complaints i.e. CC NI Act 12-20 and CC NI Act 100-20 filed by the respondent before the learned Trial Court under Section 138 r/w Section 142 of the NI Act, 1881 were summoned as co-accused therein.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that there is no legally enforceable liability of the accused persons as there is no default or breach of the alleged loan- cum-guarantee agreement dated 01.12.2019. Further, liability of the accused is also not attracted because the amount paid by the accused persons to the complainant is in excess of the amount received from the complainant, by way of loan. The present complaints are not maintainable since the complainants are not licensed money lenders as per the Punjab Registration of Money Lenders Act, 1938 and therefore, the present complaints are barred by law.

The counsel for the respondent contended that he complainants had contended that the petitioners and the complainant were related and that the accused person namely Mr. Vipin Tondak arrayed as the petitioner no.2 to both CRL.M.C.2663/2021 & CRL.M.C.2730/2021 had stated that he would like to settle the matter in mediation and that despite repeated attempts of the complainants before the Mediation Cell to settle the present matters with the accused persons, the accused persons did not attend the Mediation proceedings, on one pretext or the other and thus, the Mediation proceedings which were fixed thrice on 15.02.2021, 17.02.2021 as well as 19.02.2021 could not fructify, due to the dilatory tactics adopted by the accused.

The Hon’ble Delhi High court after noting the facts and arguments of both the parties opined that the order given by the lower court shall be set aside with the matter being remanded back to the learned Trial Court to dispose of the application under Section 143A of the NI Act, 1881 filed by the complainants of the said complaint cases seeking interim compensation from the accused after invocation of Section 294 of the CrPC, 1973 and considering the submissions that are made by the petitioner in response to the applications under Section 143A of the NI Act, 1881 and taking into account that vide this verdict it is categorically held to the effect that the provision of Section 143A of the NI Act, 1881 is directory in nature and not mandatory.”

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Judgement reviewed by Pratikshya Pattnaik

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