0

The Kerala High Court held that unless shown differently, a blank check will be assumed to be written for the payment of a debt

Title: P.K. Uthuppu v. N.J. Varghese & Anr.
Decided on: 07 November, 2023

+ CRL. REV. PET No. 1374 of 2010

CORAM: HON’BLE Justice Sophy Thomas
Introduction

The Kerala High Court ruled that, even in the situation of a voluntarily issued blank check, the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instrument Act (NI Act) that a check was given to settle debt or liability is still relevant.

Facts of the Case

A guy who had been found guilty of check bouncing under Section 138 of the NI Act filed a revision petition, which the High Court was now deliberating over. The revision petitioner was charged with defaulting on a debt of Rs 4 lakh by writing a check without making sure he had enough money in his bank account. Due to inadequate funds, the check bounced, resulting in a lawyer’s notice from the lender and a Section 138 of the NI Act complaint when the borrowed amount was not returned in spite of the notice. The accused-petitioner was declared guilty by the trial court. A court of appeals maintained the conviction but lowered the punishment.

Courts analysis and decision

The petitioner was found to have neglected to present any documentation proving he had obtained a car loan from the complainant’s financial institution, the court said. However, the Court determined that there was proof that he had taken out a rupees 4-lakh personal loan, as stated by the complainant. The Court further observed that the petitioner for revision had acknowledged that he had provided the complainant a signed check voluntarily. Accordingly, the complainant was given the benefit of the doubt under Section 139 of the NI Act, according to the High Court. In order for him to serve his time and pay the fine, the High Court dismissed the revision petition and ordered him to appear in person before the trial court.

“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.”

Written by- Hargunn Kaur Makhija

Click here to view your judgement

0

The litigant should not suffer for want of necessary prayers for condonation of delay: Bombay HC

Title: Praveen Otarmal Parmar v. M/s. Abhiroop Associates and Mr. Uday Raghunath Manerikar

Decided on: 7th AUGUST 2023

+ CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1045 OF 2006

CORAM: S. M. MODAK, J.

Facts of the Case:

The Court of 11th Jt. Judicial Magistrate First Class, Pune acquitted the respondent for the offence punishable under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act vide judgment dated 23rd March, 2006 in Case No.298 of 2003. The complaint was not filed in time and hence respondent was acquitted. It was the complainant who has preferred this Appeal.

The appellant had first sent a notice on 31st  Mar, 2006 and received no response from the firm or the partner. Notice was sent again on 16th April and 21st April to the firm and the partner respectively.  Finally, he filed a complaint on 5th June. The trial court held that there was a delay of 4 days (time period calculated from 31 March) and therefore, the accused were acquitted.

Issues

  1. a) When the complainant filed the complaint on the basis of notice posted on second occasion, whether it was proper for the trial court to dismiss the complaint as time barred?
  2. b) Whether trial Court ought to have given an opportunity to the complainant to explain delay occurred?

Contentions

The appellant claimed that when the process was issued and when case has proceeded it was not proper for the trial Court to dismiss the complaint. It was obligatory on the trial Court either to condone delay on its own or ought to have given an opportunity to offer an explanation. They explained that the notices sent were not registered and were returned to him for being not claimed, which is why he sent fresh claims in the month of April. Thus, he explained this to be the right date from which the period of limitation should be calculated and also that the complaint was filed on the basis of second notice.

The Respondents supported the order and submitted that there is no duty cast upon the trial Court to condone the delay particularly when the complainant has not prayed for condonation of delay.  The Respondents presented evidence that the notices were returned with the mark “intimation delivered.”

Decision

 The Court held that since the prosecution under Negotiable Instruments Act is quasi-civil.  The notices came back with the mark “unclaimed” and thus, the appellant needs to be given an opportunity to pray for condonation of delay. The Court added that the litigant should not suffer for want of necessary prayers for condonation of delay. Hence, the appeal was allowed.

“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.”

Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

Click to view judgment