Family Relations & Financial Disputes: Analysing Rajani Gururaj v. Jithendra Kr. N.M.


Case No.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2156/2018

Dated on: 27th MAY, 2024



The appellant, Sri Jithendra Kumar N.M., filed a criminal appeal challenging the acquittal of the respondent, Smt. Rajani Gururaj, by the XVI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru, in a case concerning the dishonor of a cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. Jithendra Kumar alleged that he had loaned Rs. 10 Lakhs to Rajani Gururaj in July 2013, which she failed to repay. After persistent demands, she issued a cheque that was dishonored due to insufficient funds. Despite issuing a legal notice, the payment was not made. Rajani Gururaj contended that the cheque was given as a security for a different loan taken from the appellant’s wife and was misused. The trial court acquitted her, finding the appellant’s evidence insufficient and noting the lack of documentation supporting his claim. The High Court reviewed these findings to determine if the acquittal was justified.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether the impugned judgment of acquittal passed by the learned Magistrate is arbitrary, erroneous, and perverse so as to call for any interference by this Court.

Legal Provisions:

Section 138 N.I. Act: It states about the offence of dishonouring a cheque for insufficiency of funds or exceeding the arranged amount.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant’s counsel argued that the respondent’s admission of the cheque and her signature on it established a presumption in favor of the appellant under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. They contended that the respondent failed to rebut this presumption with sufficient evidence. The appellant’s counsel further emphasized that the respondent did not provide any oral evidence to support her defense and that her defense, alleging misuse of blank cheques obtained as security for a different loan, lacked substantiation. Additionally, they highlighted the respondent’s failure to enter the witness box to support her defense. The appellant’s counsel argued that the trial magistrate overlooked these critical points, resulting in a miscarriage of justice, and urged the High Court to overturn the acquittal.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent, argued that while the cheque and its signature were admitted by the respondent, the appellant failed to prove the advancement of the alleged loan of Rs. 10 Lakhs. They highlighted inconsistencies in the appellant’s testimony, including the inability to provide specific dates of the loan transaction and discrepancies regarding the complainant’s financial capacity. The respondent’s counsel also pointed out that the appellant’s wife had filed a separate cheque bounce case against the respondent, indicating a complex financial relationship between the parties. Additionally, they emphasized that the respondent promptly raised her defense in the reply notice, asserting that the cheque was issued as security for a different loan taken by her husband from the appellant’s wife. These arguments aimed to undermine the credibility of the appellant’s claims and demonstrate the lack of evidence supporting them.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

After considering the arguments and reviewing the evidence, the court undertook a detailed analysis of the case. It noted the familial relationship between the parties and acknowledged the initial presumption in favor of the complainant due to the admitted cheque and signature. However, it observed significant discrepancies in the complainant’s testimony regarding the date and nature of the loan transaction, as well as inconsistencies in financial records. The court also highlighted the respondent’s defense, which asserted that the cheque was issued as security for a separate loan taken by her husband from the complainant’s wife. Based on these observations, the court concluded that the complainant had failed to establish the case beyond a reasonable doubt. It emphasized the importance of clear and consistent evidence, especially in cases involving financial transactions. Ultimately, the court found that the acquittal by the trial magistrate was not arbitrary or perverse but was based on a reasoned evaluation of the evidence presented. Therefore, it upheld the acquittal and dismissed the appellant’s appeal.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *