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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Section 138 of the NI Act - territorial jurisdiction- where cheques were drawn - cheques were drawn on Axis Bank, Bangalore and presented at Standard Chartered Bank, Bangalore - Statutory notice issued at New Delhi - High court held infavour of complainant - Apex court held that It is in these circumstances that we allow the Appeal, as Courts at Gurgaon do not possess territorial jurisdiction to entertain the present proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act solely because, on the instructions of the Respondent, a legal notice of demand has emanated from that city. The Complaint be returned to the Complainant/Respondent for refilling in the appropriate Court at Bangalore, Karnataka. As mentioned in Dashrath Rupsingh, if the Complaint is re-filed in the appropriate Court in Bangalore within 30 days, it shall be deemed to have been filed within limitation.= CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1771 OF 2014 [Arising out of SLP(Crl.)No. 7653 of 2013] SHIVGIRI ASSOCIATES & ORS. …..Appellants Vs. METSO MINERAL (INDIA) PVT.LTD. …..Respondent = 2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41832

Section  138  of  the  NI  Act - territorial jurisdiction- where cheques were drawn - cheques were drawn on Axis Bank, Bangalore and presented at Standard Chartered Bank, Bangalore - Statutory notice issued at New Delhi - High court held infavour of complainant - Apex court held that It is in these circumstances that we allow the Appeal,  as  Courts  at Gurgaon do not possess territorial jurisdiction  to  entertain  the  present proceedings under  Section  138  of  the  NI  Act  solely  because,  on  the instructions of the Respondent, a legal notice of demand has  emanated  from that city.  The Complaint be  returned  to  the  Complainant/Respondent  for
refilling in the appropriate Court at Bangalore, Karnataka.    As  mentioned in Dashrath Rupsingh, if the Complaint is re-filed in the appropriate  Court in Bangalore within 30 days, it shall be deemed to have  been  filed  within limitation.=
In the case in hand, the  dishonoured  cheques  were  drawn  on  the
Appellant’s  Bank,  namely,  Axis   Bank,   Bangalore.    Subsequently,   on
presentation of the cheques for encashment by  the  Respondent  through  its
Bankers, namely, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangalore, they were  dishonoured.
   It is interesting to note, even though it may not  be  relevant  for  the
present considerations, that the Respondent has filed a  suit  for  recovery
of money in New Delhi, repeatedly  reiterating  that  the  cause  of  action
arose solely and squarely in New Delhi.=

  It is in these circumstances that we allow the Appeal,  as  Courts  at
Gurgaon do not possess territorial jurisdiction  to  entertain  the  present
proceedings under  Section  138  of  the  NI  Act  solely  because,  on  the
instructions of the Respondent, a legal notice of demand has  emanated  from
that city.  The Complaint be  returned  to  the  Complainant/Respondent  for
refilling in the appropriate Court at Bangalore, Karnataka.    As  mentioned
in Dashrath Rupsingh, if the Complaint is re-filed in the appropriate  Court
in Bangalore within 30 days, it shall be deemed to have  been  filed  within
limitation.

2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41832

                                                                REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1771  OF 2014
                 [Arising out of SLP(Crl.)No. 7653 of 2013]


SHIVGIRI ASSOCIATES & ORS.                   …..Appellants

      Vs.

METSO MINERAL  (INDIA) PVT.LTD.                  …..Respondent




                               J U D G M E N T

VIKRAMAJIT SEN, J.


1     Leave granted.
2     This Appeal assails the Order of the learned Single Judge of the  High
Court of Punjab & Haryana holding that since the notice as  contemplated  in
Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act,  1881  (for  short,  ‘the  NI
Act’), had  been  dispatched  from  Gurgaon,  Haryana  and  additionally,  a
response thereto was dispatched  to  and  received  at  Gurgaon,  Courts  at
Gurgaon possessed jurisdiction to entertain and decide  the  Complaint.   In
the impugned Judgment, several precedents have been mentioned and  decisions
of this Court, namely, K. Bhaskaran v. Sankaran Vaidhyan Balan (1999) 7  SCC
510 and Harman Electronics  Private  Limited  v.  National  Panasonic  India
Private Limited (2009) 1 SCC 720 have  been  analysed  and  discussed.    We
need not dilate on this issue beyond  mentioning  and  applying  the  recent
decision  dated  01.08.2014  in  Criminal  Appeal  No.2287  of  2009  titled
Dashrath  Rupsingh  Rathod  v.  State  of  Maharasthra.    In  view  of  the
deliberations in Dashrath Rupsingh, the  Appeal  is  allowed.     It  is  no
longer arguable that the  issuance  of  the  notice  has  relevance  to  the
question of criminal territorial jurisdiction under Section 138  of  the  NI
Act.    In the case in hand, the  dishonoured  cheques  were  drawn  on  the
Appellant’s  Bank,  namely,  Axis   Bank,   Bangalore.    Subsequently,   on
presentation of the cheques for encashment by  the  Respondent  through  its
Bankers, namely, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangalore, they were  dishonoured.
   It is interesting to note, even though it may not  be  relevant  for  the
present considerations, that the Respondent has filed a  suit  for  recovery
of money in New Delhi, repeatedly  reiterating  that  the  cause  of  action
arose solely and squarely in New Delhi.
3     It appears that the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class  (Special
Court), District Gurgaon,  Haryana,  on  14.6.2010  issued  Summons  to  the
Appellant.   The Appellant thereupon approached the High Court of  Punjab  &
Haryana at Chandigarh, which passed  the  impugned  order.    On  23.9.2013,
this Court issued notice and also ordered that proceedings before the  Trial
Court shall remain stayed.   It is evident, therefore, that evidence,  post-
summoning, has not been recorded.
4     It is in these circumstances that we allow the Appeal,  as  Courts  at
Gurgaon do not possess territorial jurisdiction  to  entertain  the  present
proceedings under  Section  138  of  the  NI  Act  solely  because,  on  the
instructions of the Respondent, a legal notice of demand has  emanated  from
that city.  The Complaint be  returned  to  the  Complainant/Respondent  for
refilling in the appropriate Court at Bangalore, Karnataka.    As  mentioned
in Dashrath Rupsingh, if the Complaint is re-filed in the appropriate  Court
in Bangalore within 30 days, it shall be deemed to have  been  filed  within
limitation.  The interim orders stand recalled, accordingly.
5     The parties shall bear their respective costs.



.......................................................J.
                                  [T.S. THAKUR]



.......................................................J.
                                  [VIKRAMAJIT SEN]
New Delhi;
August 20, 2014.
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