Read Order: Chaman Lal Kalsi v. Balihar Chand
Chandigarh, May 14, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the petition wherein the complainant-petitioner assailed the Trial Court order dismissing his application filed for placing on record, the notarized copy of his bank passbook.
The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan held “… the trial is already substantially delayed for a period of about 05 years on account of pendency of the present petition and the petitioner has made out a case that the production of the passbook will enable the petitioner to prove the fact that he has extended loan to the respondent/accused in the year 2014, the present petition is allowed…”
The Court said, “The petitioner is permitted to place on record the notarized copy of the passbook of Punjab National Bank, as sought in the application.”
Prayer in this revision was for setting aside the order of the Trial Court dismissing the application filed by the petitioner/complainant to place on record the notarized copy of the petitioner’s bank passbook.
Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner filed a complaint under Section 138 of the N. I. Act with regard to dishonouring of a cheque for a sum of Rs. 5 Lakh, drawn on State Bank of Patiala, Main Branch, Banga. During the pendency of the complaint, the petitioner moved an application to place on record the notarized copy of the passbook of Punjab National Bank, Nawanshahr Branch, whereas inadvertently the name of the bank was mentioned as Punjab and Sind Bank, Nawanshahr.
It was stated in the application that the complainant was in possession of the original passbook and a copy of the statement of the SBI account at Chandigarh, therefore, for the effective and proper disposal of the complainant, he may be allowed to place on record the said documents.
Reply, filed on behalf of the respondent/accused, was on record, wherein it was stated that the petitioner/complainant was trying to fill up the lacunae by producing the aforesaid documents. In reply, it was also stated that there was no direct reference to the passbook as mentioned earlier and cross-examination of the petitioner/complainant was completed on May 05, 2016, and only thereafter, the present application was filed to fill up the lacunae.
The trial Court, vide impugned order dismissed the said application observing that in the cross-examination of the complainant there was no reference to the production of the aforesaid passbook of Punjab National Bank, Nawanshahr and, therefore, no purpose will be served by allowing the application. It was also observed that the complainant had ample opportunity to lead his evidence.
The counsel for the petitioner/complainant submitted that the passbook in question would show that he gave a loan to the respondent/accused in the year 2014 and, therefore, it went to the root of the case with regard to the dispute between the parties regarding legally enforceable debt/liability on account of issuance of the cheque to the respondent/accused.
The counsel for the respondent/accused submitted that the application filed by the petitioner was at a belated stage and it has no relevance or requirement for which, the Court was to form an opinion while deciding the complaint.
The Court noted that this petition was pending since 2017 and on May 30, 2017, while issuing a notice of motion, the trial Court was directed not to conclude the trial. The said interim order was continuing and even the lower Court’s record was requisitioned.
After hearing the counsel for the parties, considering the fact that the trial was already substantially delayed for a period of about 05 years on account of the pendency of the present petition and the petitioner made out a case that the production of the passbook will enable him to prove the fact that he extended loan to the respondent/accused in the year 2014, the present petition was allowed and the impugned order was set aside. The petitioner was permitted to place on record the notarized copy of the passbook of Punjab National Bank, as sought in the application. However, this was subject to payment of costs of Rs. 10,000/- to the respondent/accused.
The trial court was directed to take a final call regarding the admissibility of aforesaid documents at the time of deciding the main complaint.