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Monday, September 22, 2014

Sec.138 & 142 of N.I.Act - complaint filed with in 15 days from the date of service of statutory notice - whether premature even though cognizance was taken in later days as held in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 or whether the complain is liable to be rejected/dismissed as held in Sarav Investment & Financial Consultancy2 - Apex court held that We, therefore, do not approve the view taken by this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and so also the judgments of various High Courts following Narsingh Das Tapadia1 that if the complaint under Section 138 is filed before expiry of 15 days from the date on which notice has been served on the drawer/accused the same is premature and if on the date of taking cognizance a period of 15 days from the date of service of notice on the drawer/accused has expired, such complaint was legally maintainable and, hence, the same is overruled and further held that We approve the decision of this Court in Sarav Investment &Financial Consultancy2 and also the judgments of the High Courts which havetaken the view following this judgment that the complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act filed before the expiry of 15 days of service of notice could not be treated as a complaint in the eye of law and criminal proceedings initiated on such complaint are liable to be quashed. and further held that we observe that the payee or the holder in due course of the cheque may file a fresh complaint within one month from the date of decision in the criminal case and, in that event, delay in filing the complaint will be treated as having been condoned under the proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act. As we have already held that a complaint filed before the expiry of 15 days from the date of receipt of notice issued under clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138 is not maintainable, the complainant cannot be permitted to present the very same complaint at any later stage. His remedy is only to file a fresh complaint; and if the same could not be filed within the time prescribed under Section 142(b), his recourse is to seek the benefit of the proviso, satisfying the Court of sufficient cause. = CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.605 OF 2012 Yogendra Pratap Singh … Appellant Versus Savitri Pandey & Anr. … Respondents = 2014 - Sept. Month - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41940

  Sec.138 & 142 of N.I.Act - complaint filed with in 15 days from the date of service of statutory notice - whether premature even though cognizance was taken in later days as held in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 or whether the complain is liable to be rejected/dismissed as held in Sarav Investment & Financial  Consultancy2 - Apex court held that We, therefore, do not approve the view taken by  this  Court  in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and so also  the  judgments  of  various  High  Courts following Narsingh Das Tapadia1 that if the complaint under Section  138  is filed before expiry of 15 days from  the  date  on  which  notice  has  been served on the drawer/accused the same is premature and if  on  the  date  of taking cognizance a period of 15 days from the date of service of notice  on the drawer/accused has expired,  such  complaint  was  legally  maintainable and, hence, the same is overruled and further held that We approve the decision of this  Court  in  Sarav  Investment  &Financial Consultancy2 and also the judgments of the High Courts which  havetaken the view following this judgment that the complaint under Section  138 of the NI Act filed before the expiry of 15 days of service of notice  could not be treated as a complaint in the eye of  law  and  criminal  proceedings initiated on such complaint are liable to be quashed. and further held that we observe that the payee or the holder  in due course of the cheque may file a fresh complaint within  one  month  from the date of decision in the criminal case  and,  in  that  event,  delay  in filing the complaint will be treated  as  having  been  condoned  under  the proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act. As  we  have already held that a complaint filed before the expiry of 15  days  from  the date of receipt of notice issued under clause (c) of the proviso to  Section 138 is not maintainable, the complainant cannot be permitted to present  the very same complaint at any later stage. His remedy is only to file  a  fresh complaint; and if the same could not be filed  within  the  time  prescribed under Section 142(b), his recourse is to seek the benefit  of  the  proviso, satisfying  the  Court  of  sufficient  cause. =

(i)  Can cognizance of an  offence  punishable  under  Section  138  of  the
Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 be taken on the basis of a  complaint  filed
before the expiry of  the  period  of  15  days  stipulated  in  the  notice
required to be served upon the drawer of the cheque in terms of Section  138
(c)   of   the Act aforementioned? 

And,

(ii)  If answer to question No.1 is in the  negative,  can  the  complainant
be       permitted      to     present     the      complaint          again
notwithstanding the fact that the  period  of  one  month  stipulated  under
Section 142 (b) for the filing of such a complaint has expired?=

No payment was, however, made by the accused  till  7th  October,
2008 when a complaint under Section 138 of the Act aforementioned was  filed
before the Magistrate. 
Significantly enough the notice  in  question  having
been served  on  23rd  September,  2008,  the  complaint  presented  on  7th
October, 2008 was filed before expiry of the stipulated period of  15  days.
The Magistrate all the same took cognizance of the offence on 14th  October,
2008 and issued summons to the accused, who then assailed the said order  in
a petition under Section 482  of  the  Cr.P.C.  before  the  High  Court  of
Judicature at Allahabad.=

The  High  Court  took  the  view  that  
since  the
complaint had been filed within 15 days of the service  of  the  notice  the
same was clearly premature and the order passed  by  the  Magistrate  taking
cognizance of the offence on the basis of such a complaint is  legally  bad.
The High Court accordingly quashed the complaint and the entire  proceedings
relating thereto in terms of its order impugned in the present appeal. =

This Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1  considered  the  provisions
contained in clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138  and  Section  142  of
the NI Act and also considered  the  expression  “taking  cognizance  of  an
offence” and held that mere presentation  of  the  complaint  on  08.11.1994
when  it  was   returned   to   the  complainant  on  the  ground  that  the
verification was not signed by the counsel, could not be  termed  to  be  an
action of the Magistrate taking cognizance within  the  meaning  of  Section
142 of the NI Act. =

In Sarav Investment & Financial  Consultancy2,  this  Court,
thus, held that service of notice in terms of Section  138  proviso  (b)  of
the NI Act was a part of cause of  action  for  lodging  the  complaint  and
communication to the accused about the fact of dishonouring of  the  cheques
and calling upon him to pay the amount within  15  days  was  imperative  in
character.  It is true that in Sarav Investment  &  Financial  Consultancy2,
there is no reference  of  the  decision  of  this  Court  in  Narsingh  Das
Tapadia1.
Sarav Investment & Financial Consultancy2     led  to  the  view
being taken by the High Courts that a complaint under Section 138 of the  NI
Act filed before expiry of 15 days of service of notice  was  premature  and
such complaint could not be treated as complaint  in  the  eye  of  law  and
criminal proceedings initiated are liable to be quashed.=

 We, therefore, do not approve the view taken by  this  Court  in
Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and so also  the  judgments  of  various  High  Courts
following Narsingh Das Tapadia1 that if the complaint under Section  138  is
filed before expiry of 15 days from  the  date  on  which  notice  has  been
served on the drawer/accused the same is premature and if  on  the  date  of
taking cognizance a period of 15 days from the date of service of notice  on
the drawer/accused has expired,  such  complaint  was  legally  maintainable
and, hence, the same is overruled. =

We approve the decision of this  Court  in  Sarav  Investment  &
Financial Consultancy2 and also the judgments of the High Courts which  have
taken the view following this judgment that the complaint under Section  138
of the NI Act filed before the expiry of 15 days of service of notice  could
not be treated as a complaint in the eye of  law  and  criminal  proceedings
initiated on such complaint are liable to be quashed.=

  Section 142 of the NI Act prescribes the mode and  so  also  the
time within which a complaint for an offence under Section  138  of  the  NI
Act can be filed.
A complaint made under Section 138 by  the  payee  or  the
holder in due course of the cheque has to be in  writing  and  needs  to  be
made within one month from the date on which the cause of action has  arisen
under clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138.
The  period  of  one  month
under Section 142(b) begins from the date on which the cause of  action  has
arisen under clause (c) of the proviso  to  Section  138.
However,  if  the
complainant satisfies the Court that he had sufficient cause for not  making
a complaint within the prescribed period of one month, a  complaint  may  be
taken by the Court after the prescribed period.
Now,  since  our  answer  to
question (i) is in the negative, we observe that the payee or the holder  in
due course of the cheque may file a fresh complaint within  one  month  from
the date of decision in the criminal case  and,  in  that  event,  delay  in
filing the complaint will be treated  as  having  been  condoned  under  the
proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act. 
This direction shall  be
deemed to be applicable to all such pending cases where the  complaint  does
not proceed further in view of our  answer  to  question  (i).  
As  we  have
already held that a complaint filed before the expiry of 15  days  from  the
date of receipt of notice issued under clause (c) of the proviso to  Section
138 is not maintainable, the complainant cannot be permitted to present  the
very same complaint at any later stage. 
His remedy is only to file  a  fresh
complaint; and if the same could not be filed  within  the  time  prescribed
under Section 142(b), his recourse is to seek the benefit  of  the  proviso,
satisfying  the  Court  of  sufficient  cause.  Question  (ii)  is  answered
accordingly.

43.         Criminal appeals may now be  listed  for  consideration  by  the
regular Bench.
2014 - Sept. Month - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41940

 CHIEF JUSTICE, KURIAN JOSEPH, ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN

                                                             REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                       CRIMINAL  APPEAL NO.605 OF 2012



Yogendra Pratap Singh                              … Appellant

                                   Versus

Savitri Pandey & Anr.                                … Respondents


                                    WITH


                      CRIMINAL  APPEAL NO. 1924 OF 2014

                      CRIMINAL  APPEAL NO. 1925 OF 2014



                                  JUDGMENT


R.M. LODHA, CJI.



            In the order of 03.04.2012, a  two-Judge  Bench  of  this  Court
granted leave in SLP (Crl.) No.5761  of  2010.   The  Court  formulated  the
following two questions for consideration:
(i)  Can cognizance of an  offence  punishable  under  Section  138  of  the
Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 be taken on the basis of a  complaint  filed
before the expiry of  the  period  of  15  days  stipulated  in  the  notice
required to be served upon the drawer of the cheque in terms of Section  138
(c)   of   the Act aforementioned? And,

(ii)  If answer to question No.1 is in the  negative,  can  the  complainant
be       permitted      to     present     the      complaint          again
notwithstanding the fact that the  period  of  one  month  stipulated  under
Section 142 (b) for the filing of such a complaint has expired?


2.          The two-Judge Bench  in  that  order  noticed  Section  138  and
Section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act,  1881  (“NI  Act”)  and  also
referred to the two decisions  of  this  Court,  namely,  (1)  Narsingh  Das
Tapadia[1] and (2) Sarav Investment & Financial Consultancy[2].   The  Bench
also noticed the judgments of  High  Courts  of  Calcutta,  Orissa,  Bombay,
Punjab and Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Allahabad,  Gauhati,  Rajasthan,  Delhi,
Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madras, Jammu and  Kashmir  and  Karnataka
and observed that judicial opinion on the first question  was   split  among
the High Courts in the country and so also the two decisions of  this  Court
in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and  Sarav  Investment  &  Financial  Consultancy2.
Even amongst the two High Courts, namely, Jammu and Kashmir  and  Karnataka,
the Bench noticed  that  the  decisions  on  the  first  question  were  not
uniform.  It was felt by the  two-Judge  Bench  that  the  conflict  in  the
judicial  pronouncements  needed  to  be   resolved   authoritatively   and,
accordingly, referred the above two questions for consideration by a  three-
Judge Bench of this Court.

3.    This is how the matter has been placed before us.

4.    It is not necessary to narrate the facts in  detail.   Suffice  it  to
refer to factual matrix noted in the referral order which is as follows:
The appellant  filed  a  complaint  under  Section  138  of  the  Negotiable
Instruments Act against respondent No.1 Smt. Savitri Pandey in the Court  of
Additional Civil Judge (J.D.)/Magistrate, Sonbhadra in the  State  of  Uttar
Pradesh.      The respondent's case was that  four  cheques  issued  by  the
accused-respondent in  his  favour  were  dishonoured,  when  presented  for
encashment. A notice calling upon the respondent-drawer  of  the  cheque  to
pay the amount covered by the cheques was issued and duly  served  upon  the
respondent as required under Section 138 (c) of The  Negotiable  Instruments
Act, 1881. No payment was, however, made by the accused  till  7th  October,
2008 when a complaint under Section 138 of the Act aforementioned was  filed
before the Magistrate. Significantly enough the notice  in  question  having
been served  on  23rd  September,  2008,  the  complaint  presented  on  7th
October, 2008 was filed before expiry of the stipulated period of  15  days.
The Magistrate all the same took cognizance of the offence on 14th  October,
2008 and issued summons to the accused, who then assailed the said order  in
a petition under Section 482  of  the  Cr.P.C.  before  the  High  Court  of
Judicature at Allahabad. The  High  Court  took  the  view  that  since  the
complaint had been filed within 15 days of the service  of  the  notice  the
same was clearly premature and the order passed  by  the  Magistrate  taking
cognizance of the offence on the basis of such a complaint is  legally  bad.
The High Court accordingly quashed the complaint and the entire  proceedings
relating thereto in terms of its order impugned in the present appeal.

5.          Before we advert to the two decisions of this Court in  Narsingh
Das  Tapadia1  and  Sarav  Investment  &  Financial  Consultancy2,  and  few
decisions of the High Courts, we think it proper to refer  to  Sections  138
and 142 of the NI Act.  Section 138 of the NI Act, as it stands today  after
amendment by Act 55 of 2002, defines the ingredients of the offence and  the
punishment that would follow in the event of such  an  offence  having  been
committed   and    the    proviso    appended    thereto    makes    certain
eventualities/conditions precedent for the commission of offence.  It  reads
as under:

138. Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in  the  account.
- Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with  a
banker for payment of any amount of money to  another  person  from  out  of
that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any  debt  or  other
liability, is returned by the bank unpaid, either because of the  amount  of
money standing to the credit of that account is insufficient  to  honor  the
cheque or that it exceeds the amount arranged to be paid from  that  account
by an agreement made with that bank, such person shall  be  deemed  to  have
committed an offence and shall without prejudice to any other provisions  of
this Act, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may be extended  to
two years, or with fine which may extend to twice the amount of the  cheque,
or with both:


Provided that  nothing  contained  in  this  section  shall  apply   unless-
                                  (a) the cheque has been presented  to  the
bank within a period of six months from the date on which  it  is  drawn  or
within   the   period   of   its    validity,    whichever    is    earlier;
(b) the payee or the holder in due course of the cheque,  as  the  case  may
be, makes a demand for the payment of the said amount of money by  giving  a
notice in writing, to the drawer of the cheque, within thirty  days  of  the
receipt of information by him from the bank  regarding  the  return  of  the
cheque as unpaid; and                        (c) the drawer of  such  cheque
fails to make the payment of the said amount of money to the  payee  or,  as
the case may be, to the holder in due course of the cheque,  within  fifteen
days of the receipt of the said notice.


Explanation: For the purposes of this section,  "debt  or  other  liability"
means a legally enforceable debt or other liability.


6.          Section  142  deals  with  cognizance  of  offences.   The  said
provision, after amendment by Act 55 of 2002, is as under:

142. Cognizance of offences.-Notwithstanding anything contained in the  Code
of      Criminal      Procedure,      1973      (2      of      1974)      -
                       (a) no court shall take  cognizance  of  any  offence
punishable under section 138 except upon a complaint, in  writing,  made  by
the payee or, as the case may be, the holder in due course  of  the  cheque;
                 (b) such complaint is made within one month of the date  on
which the cause of action arises under clause (c) of the proviso to  section
138:                               Provided  that  the   cognizance   of   a
complaint may be taken by the Court after  the  prescribed  period,  if  the
complainant satisfies the Court that he had sufficient cause for not  making
a complaint within such period.                    (c) no court inferior  to
that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a  Judicial  Magistrate  of  the  first
class shall try any offence punishable under section 138.

7.          It may not be out of place to mention here that  entire  Chapter
XVII of the NI Act was brought in the statute  by  Act  66  of  1988  w.e.f.
01.04.1989.  This Chapter comprises of Sections 138 to 147.

8.          The other two provisions  which  deserve  mention  are  Sections
2(d) and 190 of the Code of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973  (“Code”).   Section
2(d) defines complaint in the context of the Code as follows:
2(d)"complaint" means  any  allegation  made  orally  or  in  writing  to  a
Magistrate, with a view to his taking action  under  this  Code,  that  some
person, whether known or unknown, has committed an  offence,  but  does  not
include a police report.

9.          Chapter XIV of the Code bears the  title  ‘Conditions  Requisite
for Initiation  of  Proceedings’.   This  chapter  has  only  one  provision
namely,  Section  190.   Section  190  makes  provision  for  cognizance  of
offences by Magistrates.  It reads as under:
190. Cognizance of offences by Magistrates. – (1) Subject to the  provisions
of this Chapter, any Magistrate of the first class, and  any  Magistrate  of
the second class specially empowered in this behalf under  sub-section  (2),
may take cognizance of any offence—
       (a)    upon  receiving  a  complaint  of   facts   which   constitute
such offence;
      (b)   upon a police report of such facts;
       (c)    upon    information   received   from   any    person    other
than a police officer, or upon his  own  knowledge,  that               such
offence has been committed.
      (2)   The Chief Judicial Magistrate may empower any Magistrate of  the
second class to take cognizance under sub-section (1) of  such  offences  as
are within his competence to inquire into or try.

10.         Before the decision of this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1,  six
High Courts had occasion to consider  the  question  whether  the  complaint
under Section 138 of the NI Act was maintainable when the stipulated  period
of 15 days of the receipt of the notice as provided in  clause  (c)  of  the
proviso appended to  Section  138  had  not  expired.   The  first  of  such
decisions, decided as early as on 29.07.1992 is of the Bombay High Court  in
Rakesh Nemkumar Porwal[3]. The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court  held
that as the complaint was presented within the period  of  15  days  of  the
service  of  notice  effected  on  the  accused,  the  complaint   was   not
maintainable for commission of offence under Section 138 of the  NI  Act  as
no offence can be said to have been committed on the  date  of  lodgment  of
the complaint.  Reading Section 138(c) and Section  142  (b)  together,  the
Division Bench of the Bombay High Court held that no offence can be said  to
have been committed until and unless the period of  15  days  as  prescribed
under clause 138(c) has in fact elapsed.

11.         The above view taken by the Division Bench of  the  Bombay  High
Court is echoed by the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana  (Ashok  Verma)[4],
Andhra Pradesh (N. Venkata Sivaram Prasad)[5], Karnataka  (Ashok  Hegde)[6],
Orissa (Sri Niranjan Sahoo)[7] and Jammu and Kashmir (M/s  Harpreet  Hosiery
Rehari)[8].

12.         In the case of Ashok Verma4,  the  argument  of  the  petitioner
accused before the Punjab and Haryana High Court was  that  Section  138  of
the NI Act envisaged a clear 15 days notice to the drawer of the cheque  and
the time was to be computed from the date of the receipt of the notice,  but
the impugned complaint had been filed before the expiry of 15 days  and  the
complaint was liable to  be  quashed  on  this  ground.   Dealing  with  the
argument, the Punjab and Haryana High Court referred to the decision of  the
Bombay High Court in Rakesh  Nemkumar  Porwal3  and  on  going  through  the
provisions of Section 138 held as under:

A perusal of the above section shows that  while  the  section  defines  the
necessary ingredients of the offence and punishment that can be awarded  for
the commission of the offence, the proviso to  the  section  lays  down  the
conditions precedent for the commission of the offence.  According  to  this
proviso the necessary ingredients of the offence are  that  the  cheque  was
presented to the bank within a period of six months from the date  on  which
it was drawn or the period of its validity,  that  the  cheque  is  returned
unpaid because of insufficiency of funds or that the amount  of  the  cheque
exceeded the amount arranged to be paid from the bank and the payee  gave  a
notice to the drawer claiming the amount within 15 days of  the  receipt  of
the information from the bank regarding the return of  the  cheque  and  the
drawer failed to make payment within 15 days of the receipt of  the  notice.
Under Sub-clause (c) of the proviso a 15 days time is granted to the  drawer
of the cheque to make payment and unless this period elapsed and no  payment
was made, the drawer was not liable for  any  offence  under  Section 138 of
the Act.


13.         The Division Bench of  the  Andhra  Pradesh  High  Court  in  N.
Venkata Sivaram Prasad5 was confronted with the question as to  whether  the
Magistrate can take cognizance of the complaint  given  in  the  case  under
consideration and proceed with the trial of the complaint after  the  expiry
of 15 days as prescribed under Section 138(c) of the NI Act.   The  question
that fell for consideration before the Andhra Pradesh  High  Court  involved
the aspect whether the offence under Section 138 can be said to be  complete
only if the drawer fails to pay the amount within 15 days of the receipt  of
the notice as contemplated in proviso (c)  to  Section  138.   The  Division
Bench took into consideration the provisions contained in  Section  138  and
Section 142 of the NI Act  and  so  also  Section  2(d),  Section  2(n)  and
Section 190 of the Code and held that until and  unless  the  criteria  laid
down in Section 138 are complied with, it would not constitute  an  offence.
The Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court held:

Proviso (c) clearly stipulates that the Section does not  apply  unless  the
drawer of the cheques fails to make the payment to the payee within 15  days
of the receipt of the said notice. Thus, the payee has  been  given  liberty
to make the payment within 15 days of the receipt of the notice even  though
the cheque was returned by the Bank unpaid. Hence, the  reading  of  Proviso
(c) to Section 138 clearly denotes that it would not be an  offence  if  the
drawer pays the amount within a period of 15 days as  a  specified  therein.
In such circumstances, there could not have been any complaint alleging  the
violation of Section 138.  The  pre-offence  period  granted  to  the  payee
should   be   construed   strictly,   otherwise   the   very   purpose    of
Section 138(c) of the Negotiable Instruments Act would  be  frustrated.  The
complainant  should  be  able  to   point   out   to   the   offence   under
Section 138 when the complaint was filed. When the complaint is  filed  even
before the offence is completed, it cannot be said that the offence is  made
out and, therefore, such complaint is invalid in the eye of law. As  already
noticed, under Section 142 of the Act, no Court  shall  take  cognizance  of
any offence  punishable  under  Section 138,  except  upon  a  complaint  in
writing made by the payee. Therefore, the necessary ingredient enabling  the
Magistrate to take cognizance of the offence  is  that  there  should  be  a
complaint in writing by the payee and the said complaint should disclose  an
offence under Section 138. In the complaint made by  the  respondent  before
the Magistrate, no offence could have been disclosed as the time  prescribed
under Section 138, Proviso (c) was not exhausted by the time  the  complaint
was presented to the Magistrate. Even by the date  of  service  of  summons,
there was no further complaint in writing to the effect that even after  the
expiry of 15 days period as mentioned in proviso (c), the drawer  failed  to
pay the amount.

14.         The Andhra Pradesh High Court  in  N.  Venkata  Sivaram  Prasad5
also considered the question in light of Section 190 of the  Code  and  held
as under:
The matter may also be viewed from the provisions of  Section 190,  Cr.P.C.,
where the Magistrate is empowered to take cognizance  of  any  offence  upon
receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such  an  offence.  We  have
already referred to the definition of the 'complaint' in Cr.P.C.  Therefore,
for taking cognizance of the offence, there should  have  been  a  complaint
containing the facts which constitute an offence. Unless the offence  is  ex
facie disclosed in the complaint, the Magistrate cannot have any  competence
to take cognizance of the offence and proceed further. In the present  case,
on the facts stated in the complaint, there could not  be  any  offence.  As
the complaint on the  basis  of  which  the  Magistrate  proceeded  to  take
cognizance is not a complaint at all in the eye  of  law,  the  question  of
proceeding with the case on the basis of such complaint does not  arise.  In
the instant case, the  Magistrate  had  no  means  of  knowing  whether  the
offence was completed subsequent to the date of the  complaint  because,  as
already stated, there was  no  further  written  complaint  as  required  by
Section 142(a). The subsequent events on completion of the offence can  only
come to the knowledge of the Court by way of  complaint  in  writing.  Apart
from the original complaint which does not disclose any  offence,  there  is
no further complaint. As rightly  pointed  out  by  the  learned  Additional
Public Prosecutor, when the special law specifies not only  the  ingredients
of the offence but also the procedure, the requirements have to be  strictly
complied with. Hence, we are of the opinion that the  Court  cannot  proceed
with  the  case  even  after  the   lapse   of   time   as   prescribed   by
Section 138(c) of Negotiate Instruments Act.


It was, thus, held by the Andhra Pradesh  High  Court  that  the  Magistrate
should not have acted upon a premature complaint which was not  a  complaint
at all in the eye of law.
15.         In Ashok Hegde6, the single Judge of the  Karnataka  High  Court
while dealing with the contention raised by the petitioner therein that  the
complainant has not given 15 days’ time to the  petitioner  as  contemplated
under Section 138(b) of the NI Act  and  the  complaint  was  premature  and
should not have been entertained, the  single  Judge  held,  “…..  from  the
above, it is clear that he received the notice  back  on  21.09.1989.   Even
accepting  that  the  petitioner  refused  the  notice  on  20.09.1989,  the
respondent ought to have filed this complaint after the expiry  of  15  days
from the date of receipt of the notice.  The  date  of  issuance  of  notice
cannot be taken into account……..  Therefore, the cause  of  action  had  not
arisen to file the complaint against the petitioner and  the  complaint  was
premature…….”

16.         The Orissa High Court in Sri Niranjan Sahoo7 also took the  view
that if the complaint case is filed before expiry of 15 days as provided  in
clause (c) to the proviso of Section 138, then  cognizance  of  the  offence
cannot be taken in view of the provision in clause (b) of  Section  142  and
consequentially the complaint was liable to be quashed.

17.         The view of Jammu  and  Kashmir  High  Court  in  M/s.  Harpreet
Hosiery Rehari8  is to the effect that under the law drawer has got 15  days
to make the payment from the receipt of notice of dishonour of  the  cheque.
It is only thereafter that an action under Section 138 of the NI Act can  be
initiated against the defaulting party.

18.         It was after the above decisions  of  the  various  High  Courts
that the decision of this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 came.  In  Narsingh
Das Tapadia1, which was decided on 06.09.2000, the two-Judge Bench  of  this
Court noted the facts as follows:

…… that the respondent borrowed a sum of Rs.2,30,000 from the appellant  and
issued a post-dated cheque in his favour. When the cheque was presented  for
demand on      3-10-1994, the same was dishonoured by the bank on  6-10-1994
due to “insufficient funds”. The appellant demanded  the  accused  to  repay
the amount vide his  telegrams  sent  on      7-10-1994  and  17-10-1994.  A
notice was also issued to the respondent on 19-10-1994  demanding  to  repay
the amount. Despite receipt of  the  notice  on  26-10-1994  the  respondent
neither paid the  amount  nor  gave  any  reply.  To  prove  his  case,  the
appellant-complainant  examined  three  witnesses  and   proved   documents,
Exhibits P-1 to P-6. In his statement under Section 313 CrPC the  respondent
denied the  allegations  but  refused  to  lead  any  defence  evidence.  On
analysis of the evidence and after hearing the counsel for the parties,  the
trial court concluded as under:

“The complainant established that the accused borrowed Rs.2,30,000 from  him
and the accused issued Ext. P-3, cheque and the cheque was returned  due  to
insufficiency of funds and the accused did not repay the amount in spite  of
receipt of notice from the complainant and hence the accused is  liable  for
punishment under Section 138 of the NI Act.”

As noticed earlier, the appeal filed by the respondent was dismissed on  19-
4-1997.  The  High  Court  found  that  as   the   notice   intimating   the
dishonourment of cheque was served  upon  the  accused  on  26-10-1994,  the
appellant-complainant could not file the complaint unless the expiry  of  15
days’ period. It was found on facts that the complaint  filed  on  8-11-1994
was returned after finding some defect in it.  However,  when  refiled,  the
Court took the cognizance on  17-11-1994.  The  High  Court  held  that  the
original complaint having been filed on 8-11-1994 was premature  and  liable
to be dismissed.


19.         This Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1  considered  the  provisions
contained in clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138  and  Section  142  of
the NI Act and also considered  the  expression  “taking  cognizance  of  an
offence” and held that mere presentation  of  the  complaint  on  08.11.1994
when  it  was   returned   to   the  complainant  on  the  ground  that  the
verification was not signed by the counsel, could not be  termed  to  be  an
action of the Magistrate taking cognizance within  the  meaning  of  Section
142 of the NI Act.  The two-Judge Bench did not  approve  the  view  of  the
High Court and held that the High Court erroneously held  the  complaint  as
premature.  Consequently, the judgment of the High Court was set  aside  and
the conviction of the respondent  under  Section  138  of  the  NI  Act  was
upheld.

20.         After the decision of this Court in Narsingh Das  Tapadia1,  the
Karnataka High Court in Arun Hegde[9] did not accept the contention  of  the
accused that the complaint filed under Section 138 on 15th  day  of  service
of notice of demand was premature and as  such  not  maintainable.   Relying
upon Narsingh Das Tapadia1, the single Judge of the Karnataka High Court  in
Arun Hegde9 held that if the complaint was found to  be  premature,  it  can
await maturity or be returned to the complainant for filing  later  and  its
mere presentation at  an  earlier  date  need  not  necessarily  render  the
complaint liable to be dismissed or confer any right  upon  the  accused  to
absolve himself from the criminal liability for the offence committed.

21.         In Hem Lata Gupta[10],  the Allahabad High Court  while  dealing
with the complaint filed before expiry of 15 days, after  relying  upon  the
decision of this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 held that the bar of  expiry
of 15 days from the date of service of notice is for taking  cognizance  and
not for filing complaint.

22.         In Mahendra Agarwal[11], the Rajasthan High  Court  adopted  the
reasoning that was made by this Court in  Narsingh  Das  Tapadia1  and  held
that mere presentation of the complaint in  the  court  cannot  be  held  to
mean, that its  cognizance  had  been  taken  by  the  Magistrate.   If  the
complaint is found to be premature, it can await maturity or be returned  to
the complainant for filing later and its mere  presentation  at  an  earlier
date need not necessarily render the complaint liable  to  be  dismissed  or
confer any right upon the accused  to  absolve  himself  from  the  criminal
liability for the offence committed.

23.          In  Bapulal  B.  Kacchi[12],  the  Madhya  Pradesh  High  Court
considered the matter  against  the  order  passed  by  the  Sessions  Judge
setting aside the order passed by the Chief  Judicial  Magistrate,  Shajapur
whereby he refused to register the complaint under Section  138  of  the  NI
Act against the accused as it was found to be premature since 15  days  from
the date of receipt of the notice by  the  accused  had  not  elapsed.   The
Sessions Judge set aside the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate  dealing
with criminal revision filed by  the  accused.  Madhya  Pradesh  High  Court
followed the decision of this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and  held  that
the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in dismissing the  complaint  was
wrong and that order was rightly set aside by the revisional court.

24.         The Gauhati High Court in Yunus Khan[13] relying  upon  Narsingh
Das Tapadia1  took the view that mere presentation of  a  complaint  in  the
Court of Judicial  Magistrate  does  not  mean  that  Magistrate  has  taken
cognizance of the same.   Though the complaint was filed under  Section  138
of the NI Act in the Court of Judicial Magistrate  when  only  13  days  had
elapsed from the date of receipt of the notice and the requisite  period  of
15 days was not yet completed but when the Magistrate  took  cognizance,  15
days had elapsed from the date of the receipt of the  notice  and  thus  the
complaint already stood validly  instituted  and  the  prosecution  launched
against the accused on the basis of such a complaint could not be  held  bad
in law.

25.         A single Judge of Delhi High Court in Zenith Fashion  Makers[14]
  was concerned with the case arising from the following facts:

The complaint under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act  was  filed  by
the respondent for dishonour of two cheques No. 615385  dated  20.7.2003  of
Rs. 8,00,000/- and No.615387 dated  20.9.2003  of  Rs.3,00,000/-.  Both  the
cheques were dishonoured on account of insufficiency of  funds.  The  return
memo of the bank is dated 20.9.2003. The legal notice  under  Section 138 of
Negotiable Instruments Act was issued on 15.10.2003 through  Regd.  Post  as
well as through speed post. The postal acknowledgment card shows service  on
18.10.2003. The complainant pleaded that the notices were duly received  but
no payment in respect of the dishonoured cheques was made within 15 days  of
the notice as was required by  the  law  as  well  as  by  the  notice.  The
complaint is presented on 31.10.2003.  The  Magistrate  took  cognizance  on
31.10.2003 itself and directed issue of process on the  same  day.  What  is
contended in this petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is that the  notice  of
demand being  of  15.10.2003,  dispatched  on  17.10.2003  and  received  on
18.10.2003, the complaint was filed within 15 days after service  of  notice
and hence was pre-mature as the cause of action could accrue only  after  15
days of the notice, i.e., on 3.11.2003.

Despite the fact that the complaint was presented before the  expiry  of  15
days of service of notice and the Magistrate  took  cognizance  also  before
the expiry of 15 days, the  High  Court  strangely  held  that  a  premature
complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act cannot be quashed  on  the  ground
of pre-maturity since there was no plea on the side of the accused  that  he
would have paid the cheque amount had the complainant given it the  required
time.  The Delhi High Court while doing so relied upon the decision of  this
Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and also  invoked  the  maxim  ‘Actus  curiae
neminem gravabit’, an act of the Court shall prejudice no man.

26.         The Allahabad High Court in Ganga Ram Singh[15]  took  the  view
that if the complaint was filed under Section  138  of  the  NI  Act  before
expiry of 15 days of statutory  notice,  the  concerned  court  should  have
waited and allowed the complainant  to  establish  its  case  or  cognizance
should have been taken after the expiry of the stipulated period instead  of
dismissing the complaint outright as premature.

27.            A single Judge of the Madras High Court,  following  Narsingh
Das Tapadia1 held that though the complaint was preferred three  days  short
of the time to be availed by the accused to settle the dues  but  since  the
Magistrate  had  taken  cognizance  of  the  complaint  presented   by   the
complainant after the 15 days time granted under  the  statutory  notice  to
settle the amount due to complainant, the complaint  cannot  be  quashed  on
the ground that it was filed prematurely.

28.         In S. Janak Singh[16], the Jammu and Kashmir High  Court    took
the view with regard to presentation of  complaint  before  the  accrual  of
cause of action that though the complaint under Section 138 of  the  NI  Act
having been filed before the accrual of cause of action, the same could  not
be legally entertained by  the  trial  court.   Relying  upon  Narsingh  Das
Tapadia1, it was held that if the complaint was found to  be  premature,  it
can await maturity or be returned to the complainant for  filing  later  and
its mere presentation at an earlier date need  not  necessarily  render  the
complaint liable to be  dismissed  or  confer  any  right  upon  accused  to
absolve himself from the criminal liability for the offence committed.   The
view of the single Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court is  founded  on
the decision of this Court in Narsingh Das Tapadia1.

29.         For about 7 years since the decision was given by this Court  in
Narsingh  Das  Tapadia1,  the  various  High  Courts,  as  indicated  above,
continued to take the view that presentation of a  complaint  under  Section
138 of the NI Act before the accrual of the cause of action does not  render
it not maintainable if cognizance had been taken  by  the  Magistrate  after
expiry of 15 days of the period of notice.  In such matters,  no  illegality
or impropriety found to have been committed  by  the  Magistrate  in  taking
cognizance upon such complaint.   This  legal  position,  however,  was  not
accepted by a two-Judge Bench decision of this Court in Sarav  Investment  &
Financial Consultancy2.  Dealing with the provision  under  Section  138  of
the NI Act, this Court held that Section 138 contained  a  penal  provision;
it was a special  statute.   Having  regard  to  the  purport  of  the  said
provision as also in view  of  the  fact  that  it  provides  for  a  severe
penalty,  the  provision  warrant  a  strict   construction.    This   Court
emphasized that clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138 provides  that  the
holder of the cheque must be given an opportunity to pay the  amount  within
15 days of the receipt of the notice.  Complaint, thus,  can  be  filed  for
commission of an offence by drawee of the cheque only 15 days after  service
of the notice.  In Sarav Investment & Financial  Consultancy2,  this  Court,
thus, held that service of notice in terms of Section  138  proviso  (b)  of
the NI Act was a part of cause of  action  for  lodging  the  complaint  and
communication to the accused about the fact of dishonouring of  the  cheques
and calling upon him to pay the amount within  15  days  was  imperative  in
character.  It is true that in Sarav Investment  &  Financial  Consultancy2,
there is no reference  of  the  decision  of  this  Court  in  Narsingh  Das
Tapadia1.

30.         Sarav Investment & Financial Consultancy2     led  to  the  view
being taken by the High Courts that a complaint under Section 138 of the  NI
Act filed before expiry of 15 days of service of notice  was  premature  and
such complaint could not be treated as complaint  in  the  eye  of  law  and
criminal proceedings initiated are liable to be quashed.  This is seen  from
the view of the Calcutta High Court in Sandip Guha[17] and the  judgment  of
the Himachal Pradesh High Court in Rattan Chand[18].

31.         Section 138 of the NI Act comprises of the main provision  which
defines the ingredients of the offence and the punishment that would  follow
in the event of such an offence having  been  committed.  Appended  to  this
Section is also a proviso which has three clauses, viz., (a), (b)  and  (c).
The offence under Section 138 is made effective only on fulfillment  of  the
eventualities contained in clauses (a), (b) and  (c)  of  the  proviso.  For
completion of an offence under Section 138  of  the  NI  Act  not  only  the
satisfaction of the ingredients of offence set out in the main part  of  the
provision is necessary  but  it  is  also  imperative  that  all  the  three
eventualities mentioned in clauses (a), (b)  and  (c)  of  the  proviso  are
satisfied. Mere issuance  of  a  cheque  and  dishonour  thereof  would  not
constitute an offence by itself under Section 138.

32.         Section 138 of the NI Act has been analysed  by  this  Court  in
Kusum Ingots & Alloys Ltd.[19] wherein this Court said  that  the  following
ingredients are required to  be  satisfied  for  making  out  a  case  under
Section 138 of the NI Act:

(i) a person must have drawn a cheque on an account maintained by him  in  a
bank for payment of a certain amount of money to another person from out  of
that account for the discharge of any debt or other liability;

(ii) that cheque has been presented to the  bank  within  a  period  of  six
months from the date on which it is  drawn  or  within  the  period  of  its
validity, whichever is earlier;

(iii) that cheque is returned by the bank unpaid, either because the  amount
of money standing to the credit of the account  is  insufficient  to  honour
the cheque or that it exceeds the amount  arranged  to  be  paid  from  that
account by an agreement made with the bank;

(iv) the payee or the holder in due course of the cheque makes a demand  for
the payment of the said amount of money by giving a notice  in  writing,  to
the drawer of the cheque, within 15 days of the receipt  of  information  by
him from the bank regarding the return of the cheque as unpaid;

(v) the drawer of such cheque fails to make payment of the  said  amount  of
money to the payee or the holder in due course of the cheque within 15  days
of the receipt of the said notice.

33.         We are in agreement with the above analysis.

34.         In K.R. Indira[20], a two-Judge Bench  of  this  Court  observed
that the offence under Section 138 of the NI Act could be completed  if  all
the above components are satisfied.

35.         Insofar as  the  present  reference  is  concerned,  the  debate
broadly centers around clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138  of  the  NI
Act. The requirement of clause (c) of the proviso is that the drawer of  the
cheque must have failed to make the payment of  the  cheque  amount  to  the
payee within 15 days of the  receipt  of  the  notice.  Clause  (c)  of  the
proviso offers a total period of 15 days to the  drawer  from  the  date  of
receipt of  the  notice  to  make  payment  of  the  cheque  amount  on  its
dishonour.

36.         Can an offence under Section 138 of the NI Act be said  to  have
been committed when the period provided in clause (c)  of  the  proviso  has
not expired? Section 2(d) of the Code  defines  ‘complaint’.   According  to
this definition, complaint means any allegation made orally  or  in  writing
to a Magistrate with a view to taking his action against a  person  who  has
committed an offence. Commission of an offence is a sine qua non for  filing
a complaint and for taking cognizance of such offence.  A  bare  reading  of
the provision contained in clause (c) of the proviso makes it clear that  no
complaint can be filed for an offence  under  Section  138  of  the  NI  Act
unless the period of 15 days has elapsed. Any complaint  before  the  expiry
of 15 days from the date  on  which  the  notice  has  been  served  on  the
drawer/accused is no complaint at all in the eye of  law.   It  is  not  the
question of prematurity of the  complaint where it is  filed  before  expiry
of 15 days from the date on which notice has been served on him,  it  is  no
complaint at all under law. As a matter of fact, Section 142 of the NI  Act,
inter alia, creates a legal bar on the Court from taking  cognizance  of  an
offence  under  Section  138  except  upon  a  written  complaint.  Since  a
complaint filed under Section 138 of the NI Act  before  the  expiry  of  15
days  from  the  date  on  which  the  notice  has  been   served   on   the
drawer/accused is no complaint in the eye of law, obviously,  no  cognizance
of an offence can be taken on the basis of such  complaint.  Merely  because
at the time of taking cognizance by the Court, the period  of  15  days  has
expired  from  the  date  on  which  notice   has   been   served   on   the
drawer/accused, the Court is not  clothed  with  the  jurisdiction  to  take
cognizance of an offence under Section 138 on a complaint filed  before  the
expiry of 15 days from the date of receipt of notice by the  drawer  of  the
cheque.

37.          A complaint filed before expiry of 15 days  from  the  date  on
which notice has been served on drawer/accused cannot be  said  to  disclose
the cause of action in terms of clause (c) of the  proviso  to  Section  138
and upon such complaint which does not disclose  the  cause  of  action  the
Court is not competent to take cognizance.  A conjoint  reading  of  Section
138, which defines as to when and under what circumstances  an  offence  can
be said to have been committed, with Section 142(b)  of  the  NI  Act,  that
reiterates the position of the point of time when the cause  of  action  has
arisen, leaves no manner of doubt that no offence can be said to  have  been
committed unless and until the  period  of  15  days,  as  prescribed  under
clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138, has, in fact, elapsed.  Therefore,
a Court is barred in law from taking cognizance of  such  complaint.  It  is
not open to the Court to take cognizance of such a complaint merely  because
on the date of consideration or taking cognizance thereof  a  period  of  15
days  from  the  date  on  which  the  notice  has  been   served   on   the
drawer/accused has elapsed. We have no doubt that  all  the  five  essential
features of Section 138 of the NI Act, as noted  in  the  judgment  of  this
Court in Kusum Ingots & Alloys Ltd.19 and which we have  approved,  must  be
satisfied for a complaint to be filed  under  Section  138.  If  the  period
prescribed in clause (c) of the proviso to  Section  138  has  not  expired,
there is no commission of an offence nor accrual  of  cause  of  action  for
filing of complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act.

38.         We, therefore, do not approve the view taken by  this  Court  in
Narsingh Das Tapadia1 and so also  the  judgments  of  various  High  Courts
following Narsingh Das Tapadia1 that if the complaint under Section  138  is
filed before expiry of 15 days from  the  date  on  which  notice  has  been
served on the drawer/accused the same is premature and if  on  the  date  of
taking cognizance a period of 15 days from the date of service of notice  on
the drawer/accused has expired,  such  complaint  was  legally  maintainable
and, hence, the same is overruled.

39.         Rather, the view taken by  this  Court  in  Sarav  Investment  &
Financial Consultancy2 wherein this Court held that  service  of  notice  in
terms of Section 138 proviso (b) of the NI Act was a part of  the  cause  of
action for lodging the complaint and communication to the accused about  the
fact of dishonouring of the cheque  and  calling  upon  to  pay  the  amount
within 15 days was imperative  in  character,  commends  itself  to  us.  As
noticed by us earlier, no complaint can be maintained against the drawer  of
the cheque before the expiry of 15 days from the date of receipt  of  notice
because the drawer/accused cannot be said  to  have  committed  any  offence
until then. We approve the decision of this  Court  in  Sarav  Investment  &
Financial Consultancy2 and also the judgments of the High Courts which  have
taken the view following this judgment that the complaint under Section  138
of the NI Act filed before the expiry of 15 days of service of notice  could
not be treated as a complaint in the eye of  law  and  criminal  proceedings
initiated on such complaint are liable to be quashed.

40.         Our answer to question (i) is, therefore, in the negative.

41.         The other question is that if the answer to question (i)  is  in
the negative, can the complainant be  permitted  to  present  the  complaint
again notwithstanding the fact that  the  period  of  one  month  stipulated
under Section 142(b) for the filing of such a complaint has expired.

42.         Section 142 of the NI Act prescribes the mode and  so  also  the
time within which a complaint for an offence under Section  138  of  the  NI
Act can be filed. A complaint made under Section 138 by  the  payee  or  the
holder in due course of the cheque has to be in  writing  and  needs  to  be
made within one month from the date on which the cause of action has  arisen
under clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138.  The  period  of  one  month
under Section 142(b) begins from the date on which the cause of  action  has
arisen under clause (c) of the proviso  to  Section  138.  However,  if  the
complainant satisfies the Court that he had sufficient cause for not  making
a complaint within the prescribed period of one month, a  complaint  may  be
taken by the Court after the prescribed period. Now,  since  our  answer  to
question (i) is in the negative, we observe that the payee or the holder  in
due course of the cheque may file a fresh complaint within  one  month  from
the date of decision in the criminal case  and,  in  that  event,  delay  in
filing the complaint will be treated  as  having  been  condoned  under  the
proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act. This direction shall  be
deemed to be applicable to all such pending cases where the  complaint  does
not proceed further in view of our  answer  to  question  (i).  As  we  have
already held that a complaint filed before the expiry of 15  days  from  the
date of receipt of notice issued under clause (c) of the proviso to  Section
138 is not maintainable, the complainant cannot be permitted to present  the
very same complaint at any later stage. His remedy is only to file  a  fresh
complaint; and if the same could not be filed  within  the  time  prescribed
under Section 142(b), his recourse is to seek the benefit  of  the  proviso,
satisfying  the  Court  of  sufficient  cause.  Question  (ii)  is  answered
accordingly.

43.         Criminal appeals may now be  listed  for  consideration  by  the
regular Bench.


                                        ……………………………CJI.
                                        (R.M. Lodha)


                                        ……………………………..J.
                                        (Kurian Joseph)


                                        ……………………………..J.
                                        (Rohinton Fali Nariman)
New Delhi,
September 19, 2014.




-----------------------
[1]    Narsingh Das Tapadia v. Goverdhan Das Partani and Anr.; [(2000) 7
SCC 183]
[2]    Sarav Investment & Financial Consultancy Private Limited and Anr. v.
Llyods Register of Shipping Indian Office Staff Provident Fund and Anr.;
[(2007) 14 SCC 753]
[3]    Rakesh Nemkumar Porwal v. Narayan Dhondu Joglekar and Anr.; [1993
Cri.L.J. 680]
[4]     Ashok Verma v. Ritesh Agro Pvt. Ltd. and Anr.; [(1995) 1 Bank  CLR
103]
[5]     N. Venkata Sivaram Prasad v. M/s Rajeswari Constructions; [1996
Cri. L.J. 3409]
[6]     Ashok Hegde v. Jathin v. Attawan; [1997 Cril. L.J. 3691]
[7]     Sri Niranjan Sahoo v. M/s Utkal Sanitary, BBSR; [1998 (3) Crimes
188]
[8]     M/s Harpreet Hosiery Rehari v. Nitu Mahajan; [2000 Cri.L.J. 3625]
[9]    Arun Hegde and Anr. v. M.J. Shetty; [ILR 2001 Kar. 3295]
[10]   Smt. Hem Lata Gupta v. State of U.P. and Anr.; [2002 Cri. L.J. 1522]
[11]   Mahendra Agarwal v. Gopi Ram Mahajan; [RLW 2003 (1) Raj. 673]
[12]   Bapulal B. Kacchi v. Krupachand Jain; [2004 Cri. L.J. 1140]
[13]   Yunus Khan v. Mazhar Khan; [2004 (1) GLT 652]
[14]   Zenith Fashion Makers (P) Ltd. v. Ultimate Fashion Makers Ltd. and
Anr.; [121 (2005) DLT 297]
[15]   Ganga Ram Singh v. State of U.P. and Ors.; [2005 Cri. L.J. 3681]
[16]   S. Janak Singh v. Pritpal Singh; [2007 (2) JKJ 91]
[17]   Sandip Guha v. Saktipada Ghosh and Anr.; [2008 (3) CHN 214]
[18]   Rattan Chand v. Kanwar Ram Kripal and Anr.; [2010 Cri. L.J. 706]
[19]   M/s. Kusum Ingots & Alloys Ltd. v. M/s. Pennar Peterson Securities
Ltd. and ors. etc. etc.; [AIR 2000 SC 954 : (2000) 2 SCC 745]
[20]   K.R. Indira v. Dr. G. Adinarayana; [AIR 2003 SC 4789 : (2003) 8 SCC
300)]

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