Read Order: Rajeev Mittal v. M/s Himanshu Handloom

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 31, 2022: While deciding a cheque dishonour matter, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that in an appeal against acquittal interference is made on the basis of perversity or misreading of evidence or for compelling reasons. 

The brief facts of the matter were that complainant-Rajeev Mittal (appellant) entered into a tenancy agreement with Himanshu Chug (respondent). The payment of rent for six months was to be made in advance. On the request of the respondent, by mutual consent, the tenancy was terminated. The premises were vacated. 

According to the appellant, the respondent instructed the appellant for presenting a cheque for adjusting the amount for damages, as the respondent after taking possession caused damage to the premises. On presentation, the cheque was dis-honored and after serving notice, the complaint was filed for cheque dishonour was made. 

The defence taken by the respondent was that four cheques in lieu of advance payment of rent were given to the complainant. It was also claimed that as the premises were vacated in September 2013, there was no liability to pay rent thereafter. The respondent examined the Bank official to prove that the application was moved to stopping the payment of the cheque, in view of the change in circumstance.

The Ahlamd of Civil Court deposed and produced a certified copy of the plaint of Civil Suit filed by the respondent for recovery of Rs.51,153 paid as advance rent for the period from October 2013 to December 2013. The suit was decreed and the appellant was directed to refund the amount along with interest.

The trial Court after considering the facts and appreciating the evidence adduced concluded that the respondent was successful in rebutting the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The stand taken by the appellant that the cheque was presented for damages caused to the premises by the respondent was not substantiated by producing evidence and was found contrary to the findings recorded by the Civil Court that no damage was caused to the property of the appellant.

The Court, after taking into consideration the facts of the matters, held that it is settled law that an appeal against acquittal interference is made on the basis of perversity or misreading of evidence or for compelling reasons. 

After perusing the pleadings of the matter, the Court opined that the Civil Court decree was passed against the appellant and findings were recorded that no damage was caused to the building. Further, the Court noted that the appellant was in possession of the cheques given for advance payment of rent and that the premises in question were vacated in September 2013 and the appellant got the advance rent for the period from July 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013, and had to refund advance rent of Rs. 51,153 along with interest, in pursuance of the decree passed by the civil Court. 

Further, the Court opined that the respondent successfully rebutted the presumption under Section 139 of the Act thereby establishing misuse of cheque possessed by the appellant. Thus, while holding that the counsel failed to show any error of law or on fact in the judgment under challenge, the Court held that no case was made out for granting leave to appeal.

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