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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Transfer Petition - Sec.138 of N.I.Act - Territorial -Jurisdiction - Cheque bounced at Vellore Bank - Statutory notice issued at Delhi - case at Delhi - Apex court held that earlier decisions K. Bhaskaran v. Sankaran Vaidhyan Balan & Anr. (1999) 7 SCC 510 was over ruled on 1st August, 2014 by this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287 of 2009 - Hence the case is transfered from Delhi to Vellore = TRANSFER PETITION (CRL.) NO.197 / 2012 M/s Apex Distributors & Anr. …Petitioners Versus M/s Timex Group India Ltd. …Respondent = 2014- Aug. Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41809

     Transfer Petition - Sec.138 of N.I.Act - Territorial -Jurisdiction - Cheque bounced at Vellore Bank  - Statutory notice issued at Delhi - case at Delhi - Apex court held that  earlier decisions K.  Bhaskaran  v.  Sankaran Vaidhyan Balan & Anr. (1999) 7 SCC 510 was over ruled  on 1st August, 2014 by this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh  Rathod  v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287  of  2009 - Hence the case is transfered from Delhi to Vellore =

whether the Courts in Delhi had the jurisdiction to entertain the  complaint
in the facts  and  circumstances  of  the  case  especially  when  issue  of
statutory notices was the only reason urged  by  the  respondent-complainant
for filing a complaint in Delhi.
Issue  of  a  statutory  notice  demanding
payment of the cheque amount is, in our opinion, not sufficient to vest  the
Delhi Courts with the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint  and  try  the
case.
We say so on the authority of the decision of  this  Court  in  Harman
Electronics (P) Ltd. v. National Panasonic India (P) Ltd. (2009) 1  SCC  720
where this aspect was examined at length.
This Court ruled that issue  of  a
statutory  notice  cannot  constitute  a   valid   ground   for   conferring
jurisdiction upon the Court concerned  to  take  cognizance  of  an  offence
under Section 138.
That position has been reiterated in  a  recent  decision
delivered on 1st August, 2014 by this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh  Rathod  v.
State of Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287  of  2009.
In  Dashrath
Rupsingh’s case (supra)  this  Court  has  overruled  the  earlier  decision
delivered by a two-Judge Bench of this Court in  K.  Bhaskaran  v.  Sankaran
Vaidhyan Balan & Anr. (1999) 7 SCC 510 upon which the respondent  sought  to
place reliance in  support  of  their  contention  that  Delhi  Court  could
exercise jurisdiction based on the fact that notice of demand of the  cheque
amount was issued from Delhi.

4.    In  the  circumstances  and  keeping  in  view  the  admitted  factual
position that the cheque in question was dishonoured at  Vellore  where  the
bank on which it was drawn is located, we see no reason  why  the  complaint
filed by the respondents should not be transferred to  Vellore  for  further
proceedings. 
The  fact  that  petitioner  No.2  is  suffering  from  several
medical problems will also, in our opinion, be taken care  by  the  transfer
of the proceedings from Delhi to Vellore.

5.    We accordingly  allow  this  petition  and  direct  transfer  Criminal
Complaint No.3960 of 2008 titled M/s Timex Group India  Ltd.   v.  M/s  Apex
Distributers & Anr. from Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Courts  in
New Delhi to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at  Vellore  who  shall  try  the
case himself or transfer the same to any other Court competent  to  try  the
same.  No costs.


    2014- Aug. Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41809

                                         REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                   TRANSFER PETITION (CRL.) NO.197 / 2012


M/s Apex Distributors & Anr.                 …Petitioners

Versus

M/s Timex Group India 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.3960 of 2008  under  Section  138  of
the  Negotiable  Instruments  Act,  1881  pending  before  the  Metropolitan
Magistrate, Patiala House Court at New Delhi to the Court competent  to  try
the same at Pondicherry. The cheque in question appears to have been  issued
on Vyasya Bank Ltd., Vellore, Tamil Nadu.   When  presented  for  encashment
the same was dishonoured, whereupon, the respondent got  notices  issued  to
the petitioners asking them to pay the cheque amount  within  the  statutory
period of fifteen days from the date of the receipt  of  the  said  notices.
Failure of the petitioners  to  make  the  payment  led  to  the  filing  of
criminal complaint No.3960 of 2008 before  the  Metropolitan  Magistrate  at
Patiala House, New Delhi in which  the  Court  took  cognizance  and  issued
summons to the petitioners. The complaint, it is noteworthy,  justified  the
institution of the case in Delhi on the solitary ground that  the  statutory
notices demanding payment of the  cheque  amount  had  been  issued  to  the
petitioners from Delhi. In para 13 of the complaint, the complainant said:



“That the cause of  action  has  arisen  within  the  jurisdiction  of  this
Hon’ble Court in as much as the notice of demand for the Cheque  amount  was
issued to all the Accused from Delhi.  Therefore,  this  Hon’ble  Court  has
the jurisdiction to entertain, try and decide the present complaint.”



2.    The petitioners’ case, in the present transfer petition, is  that  the
cheque in question was not in discharge of any debt  or  liability  but  had
been given to the respondent-company by way of security.  Dishonour  of  any
such cheque was not, according to the  petitioners,  an  offence  punishable
under Section 138 of the Act aforementioned.  That  apart,  the  petitioners
claim that the Courts  in  Delhi  have  no  jurisdiction  to  entertain  the
complaint.  Simply  because  the  statutory  notices  were  issued  to   the
petitioners  from  Delhi  did  not  clothe  the  Courts  in  Delhi  to  take
cognizance of the  offence  assuming  that  the  same  had  been  committed.
Multiple ailments of  Petitioner  No.2  are  also  urged  as  a  ground  for
transfer of the proceedings from Delhi to Pondicherry.

3.    The only question that  primarily  arises  for  our  consideration  is
whether the Courts in Delhi had the jurisdiction to entertain the  complaint
in the facts  and  circumstances  of  the  case  especially  when  issue  of
statutory notices was the only reason urged  by  the  respondent-complainant
for filing a complaint in Delhi.  Issue  of  a  statutory  notice  demanding
payment of the cheque amount is, in our opinion, not sufficient to vest  the
Delhi Courts with the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint  and  try  the
case. We say so on the authority of the decision of  this  Court  in  Harman
Electronics (P) Ltd. v. National Panasonic India (P) Ltd. (2009) 1  SCC  720
where this aspect was examined at length. This Court ruled that issue  of  a
statutory  notice  cannot  constitute  a   valid   ground   for   conferring
jurisdiction upon the Court concerned  to  take  cognizance  of  an  offence
under Section 138. That position has been reiterated in  a  recent  decision
delivered on 1st August, 2014 by this Court in Dashrath Rupsingh  Rathod  v.
State of Maharashtra & Anr. Criminal Appeal No.2287  of  2009.  In  Dashrath
Rupsingh’s case (supra)  this  Court  has  overruled  the  earlier  decision
delivered by a two-Judge Bench of this Court in  K.  Bhaskaran  v.  Sankaran
Vaidhyan Balan & Anr. (1999) 7 SCC 510 upon which the respondent  sought  to
place reliance in  support  of  their  contention  that  Delhi  Court  could
exercise jurisdiction based on the fact that notice of demand of the  cheque
amount was issued from Delhi.

4.    In  the  circumstances  and  keeping  in  view  the  admitted  factual
position that the cheque in question was dishonoured at  Vellore  where  the
bank on which it was drawn is located, we see no reason  why  the  complaint
filed by the respondents should not be transferred to  Vellore  for  further
proceedings. The  fact  that  petitioner  No.2  is  suffering  from  several
medical problems will also, in our opinion, be taken care  by  the  transfer
of the proceedings from Delhi to Vellore.

5.    We accordingly  allow  this  petition  and  direct  transfer  Criminal
Complaint No.3960 of 2008 titled M/s Timex Group India  Ltd.   v.  M/s  Apex
Distributers & Anr. from Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Courts  in
New Delhi to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at  Vellore  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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