sec.138 NI Act – cheque bounce case – waiver of the sentence relating to imprisonment = two courts confirmed the conviction order of the trial court = the appellant has already deposited the compensation amount of Rs.2,45,000/­ (Rupees two lac forty five thousand). – petitioner to deposit a further sum of Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees one lac only) before the trial Court. After the deposit is made, the trial Court shall issue notice to the complainant for withdrawal of the amount. – the order of sentence passed by the Judicial First Class Magistrate­II, Ottappalam, dated 30th March, 2010, stands modified to the extent that the appellant shall pay an additional compensation amount of Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees One Lac only) to respondent No.2 ­ original complainant (which is already deposited before the Trial Court), in lieu of simple imprisonment for three months’ period. Ordered accordingly.

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NON­REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 271 OF  2018

(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.57 of 2013)

P. RAMADAS …..APPELLANT(S)

:Versus:

STATE OF KERALA AND ANOTHER …..RESPONDENT(S)

J U D G M E N T

A.M. Khanwilkar, J.

1. This appeal, by special leave, arises from order dated 10th

February,   2012   passed   by   the   High   Court   of   Kerala   at

Ernakulam in Criminal Revision Petition No.3075/2011.

2. The appellant was convicted by the Judicial First Class

Magistrate­II,   Ottappalam,   for   offence   punishable   under

Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and was

sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for 3 months and

to pay a compensation of Rs.2,45,000/­ to the complainant

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under Section 357(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,

vide his order dated 30th  March, 2010 passed in Summary

Trial No.69/2008. In default of payment of compensation, the

appellant   was   directed   to   undergo   further   simple

imprisonment of 15 days.

3. Assailing   the   judgment   of   conviction   and   order   of

sentence   passed   by   the   Judicial   First   Class   Magistrate­II,

Ottappalam, the appellant filed an appeal before the Court of

Additional Sessions Judge, Palakkad Division at Ottapalam,

which   came   to   be   dismissed   on   5th  August,   2011.   Feeling

aggrieved, the appellant approached the High Court of Kerala

at   Ernakulam   by   way   of   criminal   revision   petition,   being

Criminal   Revision   Petition   No.3075/2011.   The   High   Court

confirmed the order of conviction and sentence passed by the

Trial Court and as confirmed by the lower Appellate Court

whilst   dismissing   the   criminal   revision   petition   on   10th

February, 2012. Aggrieved by the said order passed by the

High Court, the appellant has approached this Court by way of

special leave petition.

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4. This Court issued notice to the respondents. Respondent

No.1 is represented by Advocate Mr. G. Prakash, (AOR). No

appearance has been entered on behalf of respondent No.2

(complainant). When the matter was taken up for hearing on

15th January, 2018, the Court was informed that the appellant

has   already   deposited   the   compensation   amount   of

Rs.2,45,000/­ (Rupees two lac forty five thousand).  However,

considering the submissions made on behalf of the appellant,

the Court passed the following order:

“Let the matter be listed on 12.2.2018 to enable

the   petitioner   to   deposit   a   further   sum   of

Rs.1,00,000/­   (Rupees   one   lac   only)   before   the

trial   Court.   After   the   deposit   is   made,   the   trial

Court   shall   issue   notice   to   the   complainant   for

withdrawal of the amount.

If the proof of withdrawal is filed before this Court,

this Court may consider for waiver of the sentence

relating to imprisonment.”

5. Hearing   of   the   case   was   accordingly   deferred.   The

appellant   has   now   produced   a   receipt   dated   5th  February,

2018 of having deposited sum of Rs.1 lac (Rupees one lac) in

the Trial Court in terms of our order dated 15th January, 2018.

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Office   Report   dated   8th  February,   2018   indicates   that

respondent   No.2   has   been   duly   served.   However,   no

appearance has been entered on behalf of respondent No.2 till

date.

6. After considering the submissions and going through the

record of the case, we are of the opinion that it is not possible

to interfere with the concurrent finding of fact regarding the

finding   of   guilt   recorded   against   the   appellant.   Thus,   no

interference is warranted against the order of conviction. The

only question that must receive our attention is about the

sentence awarded to the appellant.

7. Having regard to the fact that the appellant has already

deposited the compensation amount of Rs.2,45,000/­ and also

deposited further amount of Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees one lac) as

directed by this Court on 15th January, 2018, what remains to

be complied with by the appellant in terms of the decision of

the   Trial   Court,   is   to   undergo   simple   imprisonment   of   3

months.

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8. Considering the fact that the appellant has complied with

the   direction   given   by   this   Court   vide   order   dated   15th

January, 2018 and taking overall view of the matter, we are of

the opinion that interest of justice would be subserved if the

order   regarding   simple   imprisonment   of   three   months   is

modified and in lieu thereof, additional compensation amount

of Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees One Lac only), already deposited by

the appellant before the Trial Court, is directed to be made

over to respondent No.2. In other words, respondent No.2 is

free   to   withdraw   the   additional   compensation   amount   of

Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees One Lac only) already deposited by the

appellant   before   the   Trial   Court.   This   amount   be   paid   to

respondent No.2 subject to verification of his identity.

9. We   are   conscious   of   the   fact   that   respondent   No.2

(complainant)  has  not  appeared before this  Court, but the

order which we propose to pass is to his advantage and, in all

probability, the same would be acceptable to him.  We make it

clear that if respondent No.2 – original complainant is not

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satisfied with this order, he will be free to apply for recall of

the same, which request can be considered appropriately.

10. Accordingly,   we   partly   allow   this   appeal   in   the

aforementioned   terms.   Resultantly,   the   order   of   sentence

passed by the Judicial First Class Magistrate­II, Ottappalam,

dated 30th March, 2010, stands modified to the extent that the

appellant   shall   pay   an   additional  compensation   amount   of

Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees One Lac only) to respondent No.2 ­

original complainant (which is already deposited before the

Trial Court), in lieu of simple imprisonment for three months’

period.  Ordered accordingly. 

.………………………….CJI.

(Dipak Misra)

…………………………..….J.

(A.M. Khanwilkar)

…………………………..….J.

(Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud)

New Delhi;

February 19, 2018.