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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sec.138 of N.I. Act - Cheque drawn on Sydicate Bank , City Market Branch , Bangalore - Cheque presented for collection at Gurgoan ING Vysya Bank - Cheque dishonoured - complaint at Gurgaon - Transfer O.P. - Apex court held that Although the complaint does not claim jurisdiction for the Court at Gurgaon on the ground that the cheque was presented for collection there yet in the Counter affidavit, the respondent has tried to justify the filing of the complaint on that ground. Dashrath Rupsingh’s case (supra), however, does not, as mentioned above, accept presentation of a cheque to be a valid presentation for purposes of limitation within the meaning of Section 138 unless the same is to the drawee bank. That is the view taken even in Ishar Alloy Steels Ltd. v. Jayaswals Neco Ltd. (2001) 3 SCC 609. On either ground, therefore, the Courts in Gurgaon could not assume jurisdiction. Following the decisions in Dashrath Rupsingh’s and Ishar Alloy Steels cases (supra), we have no hesitation in allowing the petition and directing transfer of the complaint to the competent Court to entertain the same.= TRANSFER PETITION (CRL.) NO.403 OF 2013 Sree Mahesh Stationaries & Anr. …Petitioners Vs. Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd. …Respondent = 2014- Aug. Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41808

 Sec.138 of N.I. Act - Cheque drawn on Sydicate Bank , City Market Branch , Bangalore - Cheque presented for collection at Gurgoan ING Vysya Bank - Cheque dishonoured - complaint at Gurgaon - Transfer O.P. - Apex court held that Although the complaint does not claim  jurisdiction  for  the Court at Gurgaon on the ground that the cheque was presented for  collection there yet in the Counter affidavit, the respondent has tried to justify  the
filing of the complaint on that ground. Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  case  (supra), however, does not, as mentioned above, accept presentation of  a  cheque  to be a valid presentation for purposes of limitation  within  the  meaning  of Section 138 unless the same is to the drawee bank.  
That is the  view  taken even in Ishar Alloy Steels Ltd. v. Jayaswals Neco Ltd. (2001) 3 SCC 609.  
On either  ground,  therefore,  the  Courts  in  Gurgaon   could   not   assume jurisdiction. 
Following the  decisions  in  Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  and  Ishar Alloy Steels cases (supra), we have no hesitation in allowing  the  petition and directing transfer of the complaint to the competent Court to  entertain the same.=

The petitioner appears to  have  borrowed  a  loan  of  Rs.15,00,000/-
(Rupees Fifteen Lakh) for business purposes from the respondent-company.  
A
cheque allegedly issued in partial repayment of the loan  amount  and  drawn
on the Syndicate Bank, City Market Branch,  Bangalore,  when  presented  for
encashment to ING Vysya Bank,  Gurgaon  appears  to  have  been  dishonoured
resulting in the issue of statutory notices to the petitioners and  eventual
filing of a  complaint  before  the  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class  at
Gurgaon under Section 138 of  The  Negotiable  Instruments  Act,  1881.
The
Magistrate has taken cognizance and summoned the petitioners for  appearance
to face the trial.
Petitioners have, in that backdrop,  filed  the  present
transfer petition seeking transfer of  the  complaint  afore-mentioned  from
Gurgaon to the competent Court at Bangalore.=
Apex court held that
We  say  so  because  in  Harman  Electronics  (P)  Ltd.  v.  National
Panasonic India (P) Ltd. (2009) 1 SCC 720  this  Court  examined  a  similar
question and clearly ruled  that  a  unilateral  act  on  the  part  of  the
complainant of issuing a notice from any part of the country would not  vest
the Court from within whose territorial limits the notice  has  been  issued
with the power to entertain a complaint.
That judgment has been affirmed  by
a three-judge bench of this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod  v.  State  of
Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287 of 2009 delivered on 1st  August,
2014.
This Court has in that case held that presentation of the cheque at  a
place of the choice of the complainant or issue of a notice  from  any  such
place do not constitute ingredients of the offence  under  Section  138  and
cannot, therefore, confer jurisdiction upon the Court from where  such  acts
are performed.
Although the complaint does not claim  jurisdiction  for  the
Court at Gurgaon on the ground that the cheque was presented for  collection
there yet in the Counter affidavit, the respondent has tried to justify  the
filing of the complaint on that ground. 
Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  case  (supra),
however, does not, as mentioned above, accept presentation of  a  cheque  to
be a valid presentation for purposes of limitation  within  the  meaning  of
Section 138 unless the same is to the drawee bank.
That is the  view  taken
even in Ishar Alloy Steels Ltd. v. Jayaswals Neco Ltd. (2001) 3 SCC 609.
On either  ground,  therefore,  the  Courts  in  Gurgaon   could   not   assume
jurisdiction.
Following the  decisions  in  Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  and  Ishar
Alloy Steels cases (supra), we have no hesitation in allowing  the  petition
and directing transfer of the complaint to the competent Court to  entertain
the same.
2014- Aug. Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41808 

                                              REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                   TRANSFER PETITION (CRL.) NO.403 OF 2013


Sree Mahesh Stationaries      & Anr.               …Petitioners

Vs.

Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd.                 …Respondent


                               J U D G M E N T

T.S. THAKUR, J.

1.    In this petition under Section 406 of  the  Cr.P.C.,  the  petitioners
seek transfer of Criminal Complaint No.14089  of  2009  from  the  Court  of
Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class,  Gurgaon,  Haryana  to  the  Court   of
competent jurisdiction at Bangalore.

2.    The petitioner appears to  have  borrowed  a  loan  of  Rs.15,00,000/-
(Rupees Fifteen Lakh) for business purposes from the respondent-company.   A
cheque allegedly issued in partial repayment of the loan  amount  and  drawn
on the Syndicate Bank, City Market Branch,  Bangalore,  when  presented  for
encashment to ING Vysya Bank,  Gurgaon  appears  to  have  been  dishonoured
resulting in the issue of statutory notices to the petitioners and  eventual
filing of a  complaint  before  the  Judicial  Magistrate,  First  Class  at
Gurgaon under Section 138 of  The  Negotiable  Instruments  Act,  1881.  The
Magistrate has taken cognizance and summoned the petitioners for  appearance
to face the trial.  Petitioners have, in that backdrop,  filed  the  present
transfer petition seeking transfer of  the  complaint  afore-mentioned  from
Gurgaon to the competent Court at Bangalore.

3.    Petitioners’ case, as is  evident  from  the  averments  made  in  the
transfer petition, is that the Courts at Gurgaon  have  no  jurisdiction  to
entertain the complaint specially when the cheque  in  question  was  issued
and dishonoured at Bangalore and the offence, if any, was committed only  at
Bangalore.  Issue of statutory notices to the petitioners from Gurgaon  also
does  not  confer  jurisdiction  upon  the  Courts  concerned   or   justify
continuance of the proceedings at Gurgaon.

4.    Having heard learned counsel for  the  parties,  we  are  inclined  to
allow this petition. We say so because in para 7 of the complaint  filed  by
the respondent-complainant the reason for filing the  complaint  at  Gurgaon
has been set out, thus:

“That the cause of action for filing the present complaint  arose  when  the
aforesaid cheque was issued to the complainant company when  the  intimation
regarding dishonour of the said  cheque  was  received  when  the  aforesaid
legal notice under Section 138 of the N.I. Act was sent to the  accused  and
on the failure of the accused to make payment despite being served with  the
said notice within the stipulated period of 15 days.  The  cause  of  action
is still subsisting and continuing. This Hon’ble Court has  jurisdiction  to
take cognizance of the offence as the  cause  of  action  arose  within  the
jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court. The complaint is within  the  period  of
limitation as per law.”





5.    It is evident from the above that  the  only  reason  the  complainant
claims jurisdiction  for  the  Courts  at  Gurgaon  is  the  fact  that  the
complainant-respondent had issued the  statutory  notices  relating  to  the
dishonour of the cheque from Gurgaon. We  do  not  think  that  issue  of  a
statutory notice can by itself confer jurisdiction upon the  Court  to  take
cognizance of an offence under Section 138  of  The  Negotiable  Instruments
Act.  We  say  so  because  in  Harman  Electronics  (P)  Ltd.  v.  National
Panasonic India (P) Ltd. (2009) 1 SCC 720  this  Court  examined  a  similar
question and clearly ruled  that  a  unilateral  act  on  the  part  of  the
complainant of issuing a notice from any part of the country would not  vest
the Court from within whose territorial limits the notice  has  been  issued
with the power to entertain a complaint. That judgment has been affirmed  by
a three-judge bench of this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod  v.  State  of
Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287 of 2009 delivered on 1st  August,
2014. This Court has in that case held that presentation of the cheque at  a
place of the choice of the complainant or issue of a notice  from  any  such
place do not constitute ingredients of the offence  under  Section  138  and
cannot, therefore, confer jurisdiction upon the Court from where  such  acts
are performed. Although the complaint does not claim  jurisdiction  for  the
Court at Gurgaon on the ground that the cheque was presented for  collection
there yet in the Counter affidavit, the respondent has tried to justify  the
filing of the complaint on that ground. Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  case  (supra),
however, does not, as mentioned above, accept presentation of  a  cheque  to
be a valid presentation for purposes of limitation  within  the  meaning  of
Section 138 unless the same is to the drawee bank.  That is the  view  taken
even in Ishar Alloy Steels Ltd. v. Jayaswals Neco Ltd. (2001) 3 SCC 609.  On
either  ground,  therefore,  the  Courts  in  Gurgaon   could   not   assume
jurisdiction. Following the  decisions  in  Dashrath  Rupsingh’s  and  Ishar
Alloy Steels cases (supra), we have no hesitation in allowing  the  petition
and directing transfer of the complaint to the competent Court to  entertain
the same.

6.    We accordingly allow this petition  and  transfer  Criminal  Complaint
No.14089 of 2009 titled Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd.  v.  Sree  Mahesh
Stationaries from the Court of Judicial Magistrate,  First  Class,  Gurgaon,
Haryana to  the  Court  of  competent  jurisdiction  of  Chief  Metropolitan
Magistrate at Bangalore who shall try the case himself or transfer the  same
to any other Court competent to try the same.  No costs.




                                                        ………………………………….…..…J.
                                          (T.S. THAKUR)






                                                       …………………………..……………..J.
New Delhi,                    (C. NAGAPPAN)
August 5, 2014

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