CHEQUE BOUNCE CASE | Court sentences man to 1-year imprisonment

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Srinagar: A Srinagar Court on Tuesday sentenced a man to undergo one year of simple imprisonment in a cheque-bounce case and directed him to pay Rs 73.50 lakh— the cheque amount, its half as fine and Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the complainant.

While the cheque amount was Rs 47 lakh, its half amount is Rs 23.50 lakh and the compensation is Rs 3 lakh.

The court of ‘Judge Small Causes Srinagar’, Tabasum, held that the complainant, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, has been able to prove that the cheques, one dated 19-12-2020 for an amount of Rs 15.5 lakh, another dated 21-12- 2020 for the same amount and third one dated 28-12-2020 for Rs 16 lakh were issued in discharge of legally recoverable liability owed to the complainant by the accused.

“The essential ingredients of Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act stand established by the complainant and the accused has failed to rebut the statutory presumption,” the court said and convicted Mohammad Shafi Bhat, the accused, for the offence under section 138 read with section 142 of Negotiable Instruments Act. However, the court said offence under section 420 IPC has not been established against the accused.

“Therefore, accused Mohammad Shafi Bhat is convicted for commission of offence u/s 138 Negotiable Instruments Act only. Accordingly, accused is sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of one year and is also sentenced by way of a fine to the tune of Rupees cheque amount plus half of the cheque amount as the case is of the year 2021 only, therefore discretion is exercised in awarding lesser sentence instead of double the cheque amount,” the court said.

The accused, the court said, shall also pay an amount of Rs. 3 lakhs as compensation to the complainant. In total, the accused has been asked to pay Rs—73,50,000 to the complainant.

The accused, the court said, stands already lodged in Kotbalwal Jail. “The fine imposed shall be recovered by the issuance of levy warrant to be executed by District Collector Srinagar authorising him to realize the total amounting to Rs. 73,50,000 (Seventy-Three lakhs and fifty thousand only) by execution /attachment through civil process against both movable and immovable property of the accused,” the court. The Court directed a compliance report to be filed by District Collector regarding the execution within one month.

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