Reply To: Nature of Examination under Negotiable Instruments Act 1881

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advtanmoy
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Krishna Janardhan Bhat v. Dattatraya G. Hegde

The respondent has placed reliance on Krishna Janardhan Bhat v. Dattatraya G. Hegde, 2008 Crl. L.J. 1172, which is also the case relied upon by the Trial Court. In this judgment itself Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically observed that Court should not be blind to the ground realities and the rebuttal of presumption under Section 139 of N.I. Act would largely depend upon the factual matrix of each case.

The Trial Court in this case turned a blind eye to the fact that every accused facing trial, whether under Section 138 of N.I. Act or under any penal law, when charged with the offence, pleads not guilty and takes a stand that he has not committed the offence. Even in the cases where loan is taken from a bank and the cheques issued to the bank stand dishonoured, the stand taken is same.

Mere pleading not guilty and stating that the cheques were issued as security, would not give amount to rebutting the presumption raised under Section 139 of N.I. Act. If mere statement under Section 313 Cr. P.C. or under Section 281 Cr. P.C. of accused of pleading not guilty was sufficient to rebut the entire evidence produced by the complainant/ prosecution, then every accused has to be acquitted. But, it is not the law. In order to rebut the presumption under Section 139 of N.I. Act, the accused, by cogent evidence, has to prove the circumstance under which cheques were issued. It was for the accused to prove if no loan was taken why he did not write a letter to the complainant for return of the cheque. Unless the accused had proved that he acted like a normal businessman/prudent person entering into a contract he could not have rebutted the presumption u/s 139 N.I. Act.

If no loan was given, but cheques were retained, he immediately would have protested and asked the cheques to be returned and if still cheques were not returned, he would have served a notice as complainant. Nothing was proved in this case.