Chhattisgarh High Court issues practice directions in accordance with Supreme Court in Sec 138 NI Act Cheque Bouncing Cases
July 5, 2021 Bilaspur Chhattisgarh
The Chhattisgarh High Court issues practice directions to the Magistrates and the Trial Courts having jurisdictions to try the offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 in respective to the trial of cases of cheque bouncing cases under the Sec 138 NI Act,1881.
The practice directions came into force with immediate effect dated on 2nd July 2021 stated that the Magistrates having jurisdiction to try the offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 shall record cognizance and sufficient reasons before converting a complaint under Section 138 of the N.I Act from summary trial to summons trial in exercise.
Further it has been directed thus: "On receipt of any such complaint under Section 138 of NI Act, an inquiry shall be conducted by the Magistrate to arrive wherever it has been found out that any accused has been resident of that area beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned Magistrate.
Other directions issued are as follows: -
While conducting any such inquiry under Section 202 Criminal Procedure code, the evidence of witnesses on behalf of the complainant shall be permitted to be taken on affidavit.
The Magistrate may restrict the inquiry to examination of documents for satisfaction as per the sufficient grounds for proceeding under the said provision.
The trial Courts shall treat summon services in one complaint under the Section 138 Negotiable Instruments Act forming as a part of transaction as a deemed service in respect of all the Complaints filed before the same court related to dishonour of cheques issued as part of the same transaction.
No inherent powers to review or recall for the issuance of summons in relation to complaint filed under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act in the trial courts .
Apparently, it shall not affect the powers of the trial court under Section 322 of Criminal Procedure Code to revisit the order of issue of process in case it is brought to the court's notice as it lacks jurisdiction to try the complaint.
Section 258 of Criminal procedure Code has no applicability to complaints under Section 138 of NI Act.
The words used in Sec 143 "as far as may be” is in respect of the applicability of Section 262 to 265 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Summary procedures.
The Appellate Courts before which appeals against the judgments in complaint under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act are pending are directed to make an effort.