Decided on April 28,2021



S.G.CHATTOPADHYAY, J. - (1.) Petitioner Balaram Chowdhury was convicted for commission of offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1981 and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.1 lakh with default stipulation by the Judicial Magistrate First Class Sabroom in case No CR 499 of 2012 (NI) by judgment and order dated 19/01/16 along with Amiya Gopal Datta who was also convicted for the same offence and sentenced to pay the same amount of fine. Pursuant to the judgment of the trial court said Amiya Gopal Datta has already paid the fine whereas petitioner Balaram Chowdhury preferred criminal appeal No.8 of 2016 in the court of Sessions Judge in South Tripura at Belonia challenging the judgment of the trial court. The appellate court vide judgment dated 09.08.2018 in Criminal Appeal No 8 of 2016 affirmed the judgment of the learned trial court. Hence this Criminal Revision Petition.
(2.) Brief facts of the case are as under: Manik Debnath [PW-1] of Gokulpur, lodged a written complaint on 28/9/2012 in the court of the SDJM at Sabroom in South Tripura District, alleging, inter alia, that he used to supply coal to the brick kilns throughout the state. In the course of his business he entered into an oral agreement with accused Amiya Gopal Datta and Balaram Chowdhury for supplying 15.551 metric ton coal to 'MAA Bricks Society' at Rupaichari in South Tripura owned by the accused persons at a price of Rs. 1,20,000/-. Pursuant to the said contract PW-1 supplied 15.551 MT coal to the accused persons which was transported to their brick kilns in a truck carrying registration No TR-01-F-1702 on 21/01/2012 and the same was received by their manager Sattya Debnath and in return the accused persons jointly issued cheque No. 172757 dated 21/08/2012 of a sum of Rs.1 lakh drawn on Tripura State Cooperative Bank Ltd. at its Manubazar branch. PW-1 presented the said cheque for encashment to said Tripura State Co-operative Bank Ltd. at its Manubazar branch on 21.08.2012. The cheque was dishonoured for insufficiency of fund in the account of the accused persons and the same was returned to PW-1 on the same day. PW-1 informed the matter to both the accused and requested them for payment of the money. The money was not paid to PW-1 by the petitioner and co accused Amiya Gopal Datta. PW-1 then issued statutory notice to the accused persons demanding payment of the money within 30 days from the date of receipt of such notice. Said notice was duly Section received by them. Even thereafter, they did not pay his money. PW-1 Manik Debnath, therefore, filed a complaint under Section 138, NI Act against the petitioner and accused Amiya Gopal Datta.
(3.) The trial court took cognizance of offence punishable under Section 138 of the NI Act on the basis of the said complaint lodged by Sri Manik Debnath [PW-1] and summoned the accused persons to appear before the court. When the accused persons appeared before trial court, learned trial judge stated the particulars of the offence to them in terms of Section 251 Cr.P.C. which is as under: 'That both of you on 21.08.2012 in discharge of your liability issued a Cheque of Rs.1,00,000/-(Rupees one lakh)drawn on Tripura State Co-operative Bank Ltd., Manubazar Branch in favour of the complainant Sri Manik Debnath from your CD Account No.292 maintained in the name of 'MAA Bricks Society', Rupaichari of which both of you are the owners. That the said cheque issued by you was dishonoured by your bank on account of insufficiency of fund in the account maintained by you, by their cheque return memo dated 21.08.2012. Thereafter, you also failed to make payment of the said cheque amount to the complainant within the prescribed period even after receipt of due demand notice from the complainant. And therefore, both of you have committed offence punishable under section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 18 and within my cognizance.' Both accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. ;

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