Read Order: Anil Sharma v. State of Haryana and Another

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 19, 2022: While dealing with a revision petition in a cheque bounce case, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that it is a well settled law that revisional jurisdiction is limited. 

The petitioner was before the Court in the criminal revision aggrieved of the conviction under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 .

The facts shorn of unnecessary details were that Anil Sharma (petitioner) and Smt. Devi borrowed a loan of Rs. 2,50,000/- from Rakesh Malik (complainant). The loan was agreed to be repaid in monthly installments of Rs. 20,420 , starting from November 5, 2011. There was a default in repayment. In discharge of the liability, a cheque amounting to Rs. 5,00,000 was issued by the petitioner in favor of the complainant. On presentation, the cheque was dishonored with the endorsement “Insufficient Funds”. After giving notice a complaint was filed.

To prove his case, the complainant himself deposed, tendered an affidavit, examined Deputy Manager, official of the Bank and produced evidence by way of cheque return memo, legal notice, proof of delivery thereof and account statement. While, on the other hand, the petitioner examined his brother-in-law (Narnder Kumar) as Defence Witness and produced an account statement.

The deposition of Narender Kumar was not found worthy of reliance. The petitioner and Smt. Devi was convicted and sentenced to one year rigorous imprisonment and to pay compensation of Rs. 4,00,000 under Section 357(3) Cr.P.C. In appeal, Smt. Devi was acquitted considering that she was neither summoned nor notice of acquisition was served on her. Conviction and sentence of the petitioner was upheld. 

Before the High Court, the Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the trial and the appellate courts failed to correctly appreciate the facts and evidence adduced. It was contended that the petitioner repaid the loan. It was also submitted that Narender Kumar deposed in favor of the petitioner stating that Rs. 3,00,000 were paid to the complainant on February 24, 2014 and he returned Rs. 20,000 from the said amount. 

After hearing the parties, the Court pointed out that the only issue before the Court was whether the petitioner was able to rebut the presumption raised under Sections 118 and 139 of the Act. 

The Court observed at the very outset that the deposition of Narender Kumar was found lacking in inspiring confidence as in his examination-in-chief, he stated that Rs. 3,00,000 were paid to the complainant to settle the account and he returned Rs. 20,000 to Narender Kumar and complainant stated that the cheque issued by the petitioner was in his office and would be returned later. 

As per the Court, Narender Kumar faltered in the cross-examination, wherein he stated that he is not aware that a cheque was issued by the petitioner to the complainant for repayment of the loan. The High Court noted that the Trial Court appreciated that the transactions between the complainant and the petitioner were in written documents, whereas alleged repayment of loan was neither recorded in writing nor there was any receipt. 

Further, the Court remarked, “There is no quarrel on the proposition that presumption under Section 139 of the Act is rebuttable”. Additionally, the Court observed that the trial court and the appellate court recorded a concurrent finding that the only witness produced for rebutting the presumption was not worth reliance.

In this vein, the Court opined, on the scope of the revisional Court, that it is well settled law that revisional jurisdiction is limited. Given this limited scope, the Court came to the conclusion that in the present case no case was made out pointing towards any error of law or non-consideration of relevant evidence or consideration of irrelevant material, calling for interference in impugned orders. 

Thus, the revision petition was dismissed. 

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