NEELAM SHARMA Vs. STATE OF UTTARANCHAL
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Smt. Neelam Sharma
State of Uttaranchal And Anr.
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Umesh Chandra Dhyani, J. -
(1.) COMPLAINANT Neelam Sharma instituted a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, against Smt. Suneeta Sharma, alleging therein that a post -dated cheque of Rs. 1,50,000/ - given by Smt. Suneeta Sharma to Smt. Neelam Sharma was dishonoured with the endorsement that the account of Smt. Suneeta Sharma was closed. Smt. Suneeta Sharma was tried for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. She was held guilty of the offence complained of against her and was convicted. She was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,65,000/ -, in default of payment of which, she was required to undergo simple imprisonment for six months. The complainant was to receive the said amount as compensation. Aggrieved against the said order dated 25.01.2006, a Criminal Appeal was preferred before the learned Sessions Judge, Haridwar, who vide order dated 26.07.2006, set aside the order passed by learned Magistrate on 25.01.2006. Aggrieved against the said order of acquittal, present Criminal Revision was preferred.
(2.) INTERNAL page No. 3 of the impugned judgment and order dated 26.07.2006 is important. The same refers to paper No. 25/5, which paper was an out -of -court settlement, which took place between the parties on 04.06.2004. This Court has perused the copy of compromise dated 04.06.2004 which bears the stamp of police station, Rishikesh, indicating therein that the compromise was received by PS Rishikesh on the selfsame day i.e. 04.06.2004. The contents of the agreement reveal that a cheque No. 748960 of Punjab National Bank, Laxman Jhoola Road, Rishikesh, amounting to Rs. 35,000/ - was given by Smt. Suneeta Sharma to Smt. Neelam Sharma as security. It was also mentioned therein that a blank cheque was signed by Smt. Suneeta Sharma. It was agreed to between the parties that Rs. 35,000/ - + Rs. 4000/ - = Rs. 39000/ - was paid by Smt. Suneeta Sharma to Smt. Neelam Sharma and also that no money remained outstanding against Smt. Suneeta Sharma. It was further agreed to between the parties that Smt. Neelam Sharma will return the blank cheque within a course of one week to Smt. Suneeta Sharma. The parties to the dispute also reconciled that Smt. Neelam Sharma will withdraw her report and will not pursue the matter. It was also decided that the cause of action which arose out of the said cheque has become redundant. Smt. Neelam Sharma as well as Smt. Suneeta Sharma were signatories to the compromise -deed dated 04.06.2004, which was signed in presence of one Vinod Kumar. This Court, in exercise of the provision under Section 73 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, made a comparison of the signatures of Smt. Neelam Sharma, made by her, in the complaint as well as in the compromise deed. This Court also compared the signatures of Smt. Suneeta Sharma made on the statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. and on the compromise deed dated 04.06.2004, The signatures of Smt. Neelam Sharma and Smt. Suneeta Sharma made on the complaint and statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. respectively tally with their signatures on the compromise deed. The accused in her statement under Section 251 Cr.P.C. and Section 313 Cr.P.C. was specific when she submitted that a sum of Rs. 35,000/ - was taken by her and the cheque was given by her as security. She was forthright in her statement that she could not pay back the money in time, but paid Rs. 39,000/ - subsequently, under a compromise deed. But the complainant did not return the cheque and instituted a false case under Section 138 of the NI Act. Learned Appellate Court has appropriately dealt with the evidence tendered by the parties. Learned Sessions Judge has also held that the description in the cheque in question was not in the handwriting of the accused. The accused handed over the cheque to the complainant as security. Hon'ble Supreme Court has held in Ms. Narayana Menon alias Mani v. State of Kerala and another, : 2006 (2) Apex Court Judgments 411 (SC) that if the cheque is issued in security or for any other purpose, the same would not come within the purview of Section 138 of the NI Act. Learned Appellate Court has precisely dealt with the matter and has rightly held that no offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 was made against the accused. The Criminal Appeal preferred on behalf of the accused was rightly allowed by the learned Sessions Judge. This Court has no reason to differ from the finding arrived at by the learned Sessions Judge, Haridwar. No interference is called for in the impugned order. The Criminal Revision thus fails and is accordingly dismissed.;
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