The Appellant-Accused has preferred this appeal against the decision of Madras by which the Madras HC reversed the acquittal of appellant-accused and convicted him under Section138 of Negotiable Instruments Act with a simple imprisonment of 6 months and imposed a fine of Rs.60,000.
Both the appellant-accused and respondent-complainant are friends and the appellant accused borrowed a sum of Rs.30,000 from the respondent-complainant. Later, the appellant-accused issued a cheque which was returned from the bank due to insufficient funds in account. The respondent- complainant issued a statutory notice to the appellant- accused and then filed a complaint before the Judicial Magistrate No.1, Kuzhithurai. After examining the evidences and the witnesses, the trial court took the view that the cheque was valid for a period of six months, during which the cheque was not presented for payment. The trial court held that the charges against the trial court are not proved and on those findings acquitted the appellant-accused.
Aggrieved by the decision of the trial court, the appellant preferred an appeal to the Guwahati High Court, which held that the cheque was returned due to “insufficient funds” and not as “time barred cheques” . No representation was made by the appellant-accused before the HC, the HC convicted the appellant accused only after hearing the respondent-complainant’s complaint.
The Supreme Court, in dealing with the matter in CHRISTOPHER RAJ vs. V. VIJAYAKUMAR, held that if the HC cannot reverse acquittal without affording a fair chance of hearing to both parties. If the appellant- accused had failed to appear before the HC in a criminal proceeding against him, the HC should have issued a second notice or requested the High Court Legal Services Committee to appoint an advocate or the High Court could have taken the assistance of amicus curiae in such a matter.