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Shyam S. Bageshra Vs. State NCT of Delhi and Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (06 Apr 2021)

When disputed questions of facts are involved which need to be adjudicated after parties adduce evidence, complaint under Section 138 of NI Act ought not to be quashed



The complainant filed a complaint under Sections 138/141/142 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (NI Act) before the learned trial Court for remedies as per law. In the complaint so filed, the learned trial Court, after going through the dates and events, evidence and documents on record as well as upon inquiry under Section 202 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), vide order held that prima facie offence under the NI Act was made out against the accused and directed summoning of accused-company and its two Directors.

Against the aforesaid summoning order, the Directors of the accused Company filed application seeking discharge as well as dismissal of complaint before the trial Court, which was dismissed vide order. Aggrieved against the impugned summoning order and dismissal order, Petitioner, who is allegedly one of the Director of accused-Company, is before this Court seeking quashing of these orders as well as the complaint in question.

The stand of complainant is that, against supply of material to accused-company, two invoices bearing Nos. 2080000493 and 2080000494 for a sum of Rs. 1,14,62,732.27 were raised, however, an amount of Rs. 80,00,000 along with interest @24% was shown due towards accused-Company as on 8th May, 2017 and against the said debt/liability, the cheque in question was issued by the Petitioner, which dishonoured and led to filing of the complaint in question.

A bare perusal of chain of events, as stipulated in the complaint in question shows that, against an outstanding debt/liability, Respondent No. 3-company, had issued a cheque dated 27th December, 2016, which on presentation with the bank was returned with the remark "Account Blocked" and thereafter, Legal Demand Notice was served upon the Petitioner.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in a decision of Rajeshbhai Muljibhai Patel & Ors. Vs. State Of Gujarat & Anr. has held that "When disputed questions of facts are involved which need to be adjudicated after the parties adduce evidence, the complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act ought not to have been quashed by the High Court by taking recourse to Section 482 of CrPC.".

Whether Petitioner's employment with the accused-Company was confined to maintenance of accounts or he was the Director or Authorized Signatory of accused-company and whether or not the cheque in question was signed by him or whether complainant is able to bring sufficient material before the court to rope in Petitioner for the offence in question, are the aspects which can be established during trial, therefore, it would be against principles of law to arrive at a conclusion without going into the merits of the case. Present Court is not inclined to interfere in the orders passed by the learned trial court. Petition dismissed.

Relevant : Rajeshbhai Muljibhai Patel & Ors. Vs. State Of Gujarat & Anr. MANU/SC/0155/2020


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