Section 148 of the N.I. Act as amended, we are of the opinion that Section 148 of the N.I. Act as amended, shall be applicable in respect of the appeals against the order of conviction and sentence for the offence under Section 138 of the N.I. Act, even in a case where the criminal complaints for the offence under Section 138 of the N.I. Act were filed prior to amendment Act No. 20/2018 i.e., prior to 01.09.2018

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.917­944 OF 2019
(Arising out of SLP(Criminal) Nos. 4948­4975/2019
Surinder Singh Deswal @ Col. S.S.Deswal
and others …Appellants
versus
Virender Gandhi …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
Leave granted.

  1. As common question of law and facts arise in this group of
    appeals and, as such, all these appeals, arise out of the
    impugned common judgment and order passed by the High
    Court, are being decided and disposed of together by this
    common judgment and order.
  2. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
    common order passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana
    at Chandigarh, by which the High Court has dismissed the
    respective revision applications and has confirmed the order
    passed by the first appellate court – learned Additional Sessions
    Judge, Panchkula, directing the appellants herein – original
    1
    appellants – original accused to deposit 25% of the amount of
    compensation, in view of the provisions of amended Act No. 20 of
    2018 in Section 148 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
    (hereinafter referred to as the ‘N.I. Act’), the original appellants –
    original accused have preferred the present appeals.
  3. The facts leading to the present appeals in nutshell are as
    under:
    That criminal complaints were filed against the appellants
    herein – original accused for the offence under Section 138 of the
    N.I. Act. That the said criminal complaints were filed prior to
    2.8.2018. That the learned trial Court vide judgment and order
    dated 30.10.2018 convicted the appellants for the offence under
    Section 138 of the N.I. Act and sentenced them to undergo
    imprisonment of two years and to pay cheque amount + 1% as
    interest and litigation expenses as fine.
    4.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the order of
    conviction passed by the learned trial Court, convicting the
    appellants – original accused for the offence under Section 138 of
    the N.I. Act and the sentence imposed by the learned trial Court,
    the appellants – original accused have preferred criminal appeals
    before the first appellate Court – learned Additional Sessions
    2
    Judge, Panchkula. In the said appeals, the appellants – original
    accused submitted application/s under Section 389 of the Cr.
    P.C. for suspension of sentence and releasing them on bail,
    pending appeal/s.
    4.2 That considering the provisions of amended Section 148 of
    the N.I. Act, which has been amended by Amendment Act No.
    20/2018, which came into force w.e.f. 1.9.2018, the first
    appellate Court, while suspending the sentence and allowing the
    application/s under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C, directed the
    appellants to deposit 25% of the amount of compensation/fine
    awarded by the learned trial Court.
    4.3 Feeling aggrieved by the order passed by the learned first
    appellate Court – learned Additional Sessions Judge, Panchkula
    directing the appellants – original accused – original appellants to
    deposit 25% of the amount of compensation/fine awarded by the
    learned trial Court, pending appeal challenging the order of
    conviction and sentence imposed by the learned trial Court, the
    appellants approached the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at
    Chandigarh by way of revision application/s.
    4.4 It was the case on behalf of the appellants that Section 148
    of the N.I. Act, as amended by Act No. 20/2018, shall not be
    3
    applicable with respect to criminal proceedings already initiated
    prior to the amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act.
    4.5 The High Court by a detailed judgment and order has not
    accepted the aforesaid contention and has dismissed the revision
    application/s and has confirmed the order passed by the learned
    first appellate Court – learned Additional Sessions Judge,
    Panchkula directing the appellants ­ original appellants­original
    accused to deposit 25% of the amount of compensation awarded
    by the learned trial Court considering Section 148 of the N.I. Act,
    as amended.
    4.6 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
    common judgment and order passed by the High Court in
    dismissing the revision application/s and confirming the order/s
    passed by the learned first appellate Court directing the
    appellants – original appellants – original accused to deposit 25%
    of the amount of compensation awarded by the learned trial
    Court under Section 148 of the N.I. Act, as amended, the original
    appellants – original accused have preferred the present appeals.
  4. Shri Vijay Hansaria, learned Senior Advocate has appeared
    on behalf of the appellants – original appellants – original
    4
    accused and Shri Alok Sangwan, learned Advocate has appeared
    on behalf of the original complainant.
    5.1 Shri Vijay Hansaria, learned Senior Advocate appearing on
    behalf of the appellants has vehemently submitted that in the
    present case, both, the High Court as well as the learned first
    appellate Court have materially erred in directing the appellants
    to deposit 25% of the amount of compensation as per Section 148
    of the N.I. Act, as amended.
    5.2 It is vehemently submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that in the present case as
    the criminal proceedings were initiated and the complaints were
    filed against the accused for the offence under Section 138 of the
    N.I. Act, prior to the amendment Act came into force, Section 148
    of the N.I.Act, as amended shall not be applicable.
    5.3 It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that the legal proceedings,
    whether civil or criminal, are to be decided on the basis of the law
    applicable on the date of the filing of the suit or alleged
    commission of offence by the trial Court or the appellate Court,
    unless the law is amended expressly with retrospective effect,
    subject to the provisions of Article 20(1) of the Constitution of
    5
    India. In support of his above submission, learned Senior
    Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants has heavily relied
    upon the decisions of this Court in the case of Garikapatti
    Veeraya v. N. Subbiah Choudhury, reported in AIR 1957 SC 540;
    and Videocon International Limited v. Securities and Exchange
    Board of India, reported in (2015) 4 SCC 33.
    5.4 It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that even otherwise in the
    present case, the first appellate Court has interpreted the word
    “may” as “shall” in Section 148 of the N.I. Act and proceeded on
    the basis that it is mandatory for the appellate Court to direct
    deposit of minimum of 25% of the fine or compensation awarded
    by the trial Court for suspension of sentence.
    5.5 It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that the first appellate
    Court heavily relied upon the decision of the Punjab and Haryana
    High Court in the case of M/s Ginni Garments and another v. M/s
    Sethi Garments (CRR No. 9872 of 2018, decided on 04.04.2019),
    in which it was held that the appellate Court continues to have
    discretion as to the condition to be imposed or not to be imposed
    6
    for suspension of sentence and it was further held that however
    in case discretion is exercised to suspend the sentence subject to
    payment of compensation/fine, such order must commensurate
    with Section 148 of the N.I. Act. It is submitted, however, in the
    present case, the appellate Court did not exercise discretion and
    proceeded on the assumption that it is mandatory to deposit 25%
    of the fine or compensation as a condition for suspension of
    sentence. It is submitted that therefore the High Court ought to
    have remanded the matter back to the appellate Court to decide
    on the question of suspension of sentence as per the decision in
    the case of M/s Ginni Garments (supra).
    5.6 It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that a similar view is taken
    by the Bombay High Court in the case of Ajay Vinodchandra
    Shah v. The State of Maharashtra (Criminal Writ Petition No. 258
    of 2019). It is submitted that in the said decision, the Bombay
    High Court has also observed and held that as per Section 148 of
    the N.I. Act as amended, the appellate Court has the discretion to
    direct deposit the sum pending appeal, but if at all such direction
    is given, that sum shall not be less than 20% of the amount of
    fine or compensation awarded by the trial Court. It is submitted
    7
    that in the present case, the appellate Court wrongly presumed
    that the requirement under Section 148 of the N.I. Act is the
    deposit of 25% of the fine or compensation.
    5.7 It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that in the present case the
    learned trial Court imposed the fine under Section 138 of the N.I.
    Act, equal to the amount of cheque plus 1%. It is submitted that
    as per Section 357(2) of the Cr.P.C., no such fine is payable till
    the decision of the appeal. It is submitted that therefore also the
    first appellate Court ought not to have passed any order directing
    the appellants to deposit 25% of the amount of
    fine/compensation, pending appeal/s. In support of his above
    submission, learned Senior Counsel has heavily relied upon the
    decision of this Court in the case of Dilip S. Dhanukar v. Kotak
    Mahindra Bank, reported in (2007) 6 SCC 528.
    5.8 Making the above submissions and relying upon the
    aforesaid decisions, it is prayed to allow the present appeals and
    quash and set aside the impugned order passed by the first
    appellate court, confirmed by the High Court, by which the
    appellants are directed to deposit 25% of the amount of
    8
    compensation considering Section 148 of the N.I. Act as
    amended.
  5. While opposing the present appeals, Shri Alok Sangwan,
    learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the original complainant
    has vehemently submitted that the order passed by the first
    appellate Court directing the appellants to deposit 25% of the
    amount of compensation/fine pending appeal and while
    suspending the sentence imposed by the learned trial Court is
    absolutely in consonance with the Statement of Objects and
    Reasons of the amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act. It is
    submitted that having found that because of delay tactics of
    unscrupulous drawers of dishonoured cheques due to easy filing
    of appeals and obtaining stay on proceedings, the object and
    purpose of N.I. Act was being frustrated and having found that
    due to such delay tactics, injustice is caused to the payee of a
    dishonoured cheque who has to spend considerable time and
    resources in court proceedings to realize the value of the cheque,
    the Parliament thought it fit to amend Section 148 of the N.I. Act,
    which confers powers on the first appellate court to direct the
    appellant (the convict for the offence under Section 138 of the
    N.I. Act) to deposit such sum which shall be minimum of 20% of
    9
    the fine or compensation awarded by the trial court. It is
    submitted that therefore the High Court has rightly refused to
    interfere with the order passed by the first appellate court, which
    was just in consonance with the provisions of Section 148 of the
    N.I. Act as amended.
    6.1 It is further submitted by the learned Advocate appearing on
    behalf of the original complainant that the submission on behalf
    of the appellants – original accused that Section 148 of the N.I.
    Act would not be made applicable retrospectively and shall not be
    applicable to the appeals arising out of the criminal proceedings
    which were initiated much prior to the amendment in Section
    148 of the N.I. Act is concerned, it is vehemently submitted that
    the aforesaid submission has no substance. It is submitted that
    first of all amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act is procedural
    in nature and therefore there is no question of applying the same
    retrospectively. It is submitted that as such no vested right of
    the appeal of the appellants has been taken away or affected by
    amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act. It is submitted that in
    the present case, admittedly, the appeals were preferred after the
    amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act came into force and
    therefore Section 148 of the N.I. Act, as amended, is rightly
    10
    invoked/applied by the learned first appellate Court. It is
    submitted that therefore the amendment so brought in the Act by
    insertion of Section 148 of the N.I. Act is purely procedural in
    nature and not substantive and does not affect the vested rights
    of the appellants, as such, the same can have a retrospective
    effect and can be applied in the present case also.
    6.2 Now so far as the reliance placed on Section 357(2) of the
    Cr.P.C. and the submission of the learned Senior Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the appellants that in view of Section
    357(2) of the Cr.P.C., fine during the pendency of the appeal is
    not recoverable is concerned, it is vehemently submitted that in
    the present case in Section 148 of the N.I. Act as amended, it is
    specifically stated that “Notwithstanding anything contained in
    the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973…..”. It is submitted that
    therefore Section 148 of the N.I. Act as amended shall be
    applicable and it is always open for the appellate court to direct
    deposit of such sum, but not less than 20% of the amount of
    compensation/fine imposed by the learned trial court.
    6.3 Making the above submissions, it is prayed to dismiss the
    present appeals.
    11
  6. We have heard the learned counsel for the respective parties
    at length.
    7.1 The short question which is posed for consideration before
    this Court is, whether the first appellate court is justified in
    directing the appellants – original accused who have been
    convicted for the offence under Section 138 of the N.I. Act to
    deposit 25% of the amount of compensation/fine imposed by the
    learned trial Court, pending appeals challenging the order of
    conviction and sentence and while suspending the sentence
    under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C., considering Section 148 of the
    N.I. Act as amended?
    7.2 While considering the aforesaid issue/question, the
    Statement of Objects and Reasons of the amendment in Section
    148 of the N.I. Act, as amended by way of Amendment Act No.
    20/2018 and Section 148 of the N.I. Act as amended, are
    required to be referred to and considered, which read as under:
    “The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (the Act)
    was enacted to define and amend the law relating
    to Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange and
    Cheques. The said Act has been amended from
    time to time so as to provide, inter alia, speedy
    disposal of cases relating to the offence of
    dishonour of cheques. However, the Central
    Government has been receiving several
    representations from the public including trading
    12
    community relating to pendency of cheque
    dishonour cases. This is because of delay tactics of
    unscrupulous drawers of dishonoured cheques due
    to easy filing of appeals and obtaining stay on
    proceedings. As a result of this, injustice is caused
    to the payee of a dishonoured cheque who has to
    spend considerable time and resources in court
    proceedings to realize the value of the cheque.
    Such delays compromise the sanctity of cheque
    transactions.
  7. It is proposed to amend the said Act with a view
    to address the issue of undue delay in final
    resolution of cheque dishonour cases so as to
    provide relief to payees of dishonoured cheques
    and to discourage frivolous and unnecessary
    litigation which would save time and money. The
    proposed amendments will strengthen the
    credibility of cheques and help trade and commerce
    in general by allowing lending institutions,
    including banks, to continue to extend financing to
    the productive sectors of the economy.
  8. It is, therefore, proposed to introduce the
    Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to
    provide, inter alia, for the following, namely:—
    (i) to insert a new section 143A in the said Act
    to provide that the Court trying an offence under
    section 138, may order the drawer of the cheque to
    pay interim compensation to the complainant, in a
    summary trial or a summons case, where he
    pleads not guilty to the accusation made in the
    complaint; and in any other case, upon framing of
    charge. The interim compensation so payable shall
    be such sum not exceeding twenty per cent of the
    amount of the cheque; and
    (ii) to insert a new section 148 in the said Act
    so as to provide that in an appeal by the drawer
    against conviction under Section 138, the Appellate
    13
    Court may order the appellant to deposit such sum
    which shall be a minimum of twenty per cent of the
    fine or compensation awarded by the trial court.
  9. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.”
    ‘‘148. Power to Appellate Court to order
    payment pending appeal against conviction….
    (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code
    of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), in an
    appeal by the drawer against conviction under
    section 138, the Appellate Court may order the
    appellant to deposit such sum which shall be a
    minimum of twenty per cent of the fine or
    compensation awarded by the trial Court:
    Provided that the amount payable under this
    sub­section shall be in addition to any interim
    compensation paid by the appellant under section
    143A.
    (2) The amount referred to in sub­section (1)
    shall be deposited within sixty days from the date
    of the order, or within such further period not
    exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the
    Court on sufficient cause being shown by the
    appellant.
    (3) The Appellate Court may direct the release
    of the amount deposited by the appellant to the
    complainant at any time during the pendency of
    the appeal:
    Provided that if the appellant is acquitted, the
    Court shall direct the complainant to repay to the
    appellant the amount so released, with interest at
    the bank rate as published by the Reserve Bank of
    India, prevalent at the beginning of the relevant
    financial year, within sixty days from the date of
    the order, or within such further period not
    14
    exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the
    Court on sufficient cause being shown by the
    complainant.’’
  10. It is the case on behalf of the appellants that as the criminal
    complaints against the appellants under Section 138 of the N.I.
    Act were lodged/filed before the amendment Act No. 20/2018 by
    which Section 148 of the N.I. Act came to be amended and
    therefore amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act shall not be made
    applicable. However, it is required to be noted that at the time
    when the appeals against the conviction of the appellants for the
    offence under Section 138 of the N.I. Act were preferred,
    Amendment Act No. 20/2018 amending Section 148 of the N.I.
    Act came into force w.e.f. 1.9.2018. Even, at the time when the
    appellants submitted application/s under Section 389 of the
    Cr.P.C. to suspend the sentence pending appeals challenging the
    conviction and sentence, amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act
    came into force and was brought on statute w.e.f. 1.9.2018.
    Therefore, considering the object and purpose of amendment in
    Section 148 of the N.I. Act and while suspending the sentence in
    exercise of powers under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C., when the
    first appellate court directed the appellants to deposit 25% of the
    15
    amount of fine/compensation as imposed by the learned trial
    Court, the same can be said to be absolutely in consonance with
    the Statement of Objects and Reasons of amendment in Section
    148 of the N.I. Act.
    8.1 Having observed and found that because of the delay tactics
    of unscrupulous drawers of dishonoured cheques due to easy
    filing of appeals and obtaining stay on proceedings, the object
    and purpose of the enactment of Section 138 of the N.I. Act was
    being frustrated, the Parliament has thought it fit to amend
    Section 148 of the N.I. Act, by which the first appellate Court, in
    an appeal challenging the order of conviction under Section 138
    of the N.I. Act, is conferred with the power to direct the convicted
    accused – appellant to deposit such sum which shall be a
    minimum of 20% of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial
    Court. By the amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act, it
    cannot be said that any vested right of appeal of the accused –
    appellant has been taken away and/or affected. Therefore,
    submission on behalf of the appellants that amendment in
    Section 148 of the N.I. Act shall not be made applicable
    retrospectively and more particularly with respect to
    cases/complaints filed prior to 1.9.2018 shall not be applicable
    16
    has no substance and cannot be accepted, as by amendment in
    Section 148 of the N.I. Act, no substantive right of appeal has
    been taken away and/or affected. Therefore the decisions of this
    Court in the cases of Garikapatti Veeraya (supra) and Videocon
    International Limited (supra), relied upon by the learned senior
    counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants shall not be
    applicable to the facts of the case on hand. Therefore,
    considering the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the
    amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act stated hereinabove, on
    purposive interpretation of Section 148 of the N.I. Act as
    amended, we are of the opinion that Section 148 of the N.I. Act as
    amended, shall be applicable in respect of the appeals against the
    order of conviction and sentence for the offence under Section
    138 of the N.I. Act, even in a case where the criminal complaints
    for the offence under Section 138 of the N.I. Act were filed prior to
    amendment Act No. 20/2018 i.e., prior to 01.09.2018. If such a
    purposive interpretation is not adopted, in that case, the object
    and purpose of amendment in Section 148 of the N.I. Act would
    be frustrated. Therefore, as such, no error has been committed
    by the learned first appellate court directing the appellants to
    deposit 25% of the amount of fine/compensation as imposed by
    17
    the learned trial Court considering Section 148 of the N.I. Act, as
    amended.
  11. Now so far as the submission on behalf of the appellants
    that even considering the language used in Section 148 of the
    N.I. Act as amended, the appellate Court “may” order the
    appellant to deposit such sum which shall be a minimum of 20%
    of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial Court and the
    word used is not “shall” and therefore the discretion is vested
    with the first appellate court to direct the appellant – accused to
    deposit such sum and the appellate court has construed it as
    mandatory, which according to the learned Senior Advocate for
    the appellants would be contrary to the provisions of Section 148
    of the N.I. Act as amended is concerned, considering the
    amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act as a whole to be read with
    the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the amending Section
    148 of the N.I. Act, though it is true that in amended Section 148
    of the N.I. Act, the word used is “may”, it is generally to be
    construed as a “rule” or “shall” and not to direct to deposit by the
    appellate court is an exception for which special reasons are to
    be assigned. Therefore amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act
    confers power upon the Appellate Court to pass an order
    18
    pending appeal to direct the Appellant­Accused to deposit the
    sum which shall not be less than 20% of the fine or
    compensation either on an application filed by the original
    complainant or even on the application filed by the AppellantAccused under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C. to suspend the
    sentence. The aforesaid is required to be construed considering
    the fact that as per the amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act, a
    minimum of 20% of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial
    court is directed to be deposited and that such amount is to be
    deposited within a period of 60 days from the date of the order, or
    within such further period not exceeding 30 days as may be
    directed by the appellate court for sufficient cause shown by the
    appellant. Therefore, if amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act is
    purposively interpreted in such a manner it would serve the
    Objects and Reasons of not only amendment in Section 148 of
    the N.I. Act, but also Section 138 of the N.I. Act. Negotiable
    Instruments Act has been amended from time to time so as to
    provide, inter alia, speedy disposal of cases relating to the offence
    of the dishonoured of cheques. So as to see that due to delay
    tactics by the unscrupulous drawers of the dishonoured cheques
    due to easy filing of the appeals and obtaining stay in the
    19
    proceedings, an injustice was caused to the payee of a
    dishonoured cheque who has to spend considerable time and
    resources in the court proceedings to realise the value of the
    cheque and having observed that such delay has compromised
    the sanctity of the cheque transactions, the Parliament has
    thought it fit to amend Section 148 of the N.I. Act. Therefore,
    such a purposive interpretation would be in furtherance of the
    Objects and Reasons of the amendment in Section 148 of the N.I.
    Act and also Sec 138 of the N.I. Act.
  12. Now so far as the submission on behalf of the appellants,
    relying upon Section 357(2) of the Cr.P.C. that once the appeal
    against the order of conviction is preferred, fine is not recoverable
    pending appeal and therefore such an order of deposit of 25% of
    the fine ought not to have been passed and in support of the
    above reliance placed upon the decision of this Court in the case
    of Dilip S. Dhanukar (supra) is concerned, the aforesaid has no
    substance. The opening word of amended Section 148 of the N.I.
    Act is that “notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of
    Criminal Procedure…..”. Therefore irrespective of the provisions
    of Section 357(2) of the Cr.P.C., pending appeal before the first
    appellate court, challenging the order of conviction and sentence
    20
    under Section 138 of the N.I. Act, the appellate court is conferred
    with the power to direct the appellant to deposit such sum
    pending appeal which shall be a minimum of 20% of the fine or
    compensation awarded by the trial Court.
    In view of the above and for the reasons stated herein above,
    impugned Judgment and Order passed by the High Court does
    not call for any interference.
  13. At this stage, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf
    of the appellants has requested to grant the appellants some
    more time (three months’ time) to deposit the amount as per the
    order passed by the first appellate court, confirmed by the High
    Court. The said prayer is opposed by the learned Advocate
    appearing on behalf of the original complainant. It is submitted
    that as per amended Section 148 of the N.I. Act, the appellants –
    accused have to deposit the amount of compensation/fine as
    directed by the appellate court within a period of 60 days which
    can be further extended by a further period of 30 days as may be
    directed by the Court on sufficient cause being shown by the
    appellants. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case
    and considering the fact that the appellants were bonafidely
    litigating before this Court challenging the order passed by the
    21
    first appellate court, in exercise of powers under Article 142 of
    the Constitution of India and in the peculiar facts and
    circumstances of the case and the amount to be deposited is a
    huge amount, we grant further four weeks’ time from today to the
    appellants to deposit the amount as directed by the first appellate
    court, confirmed by the High Court and further confirmed by this
    Court.
  14. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, we
    see no reason to interfere with the impugned common judgment
    and order passed by the High Court dismissing the revision
    application/s, confirming the order passed by the first appellate
    court directing the appellants to deposit 25% of the amount of
    fine/compensation pending appeals.
    The instant appeals are accordingly dismissed with the
    aforesaid observations and appellants are now directed to deposit
    the amount directed by the first appellate court within extended
    period of four weeks from today.
    …………………………………….J.
    [M.R. SHAH]
    NEW DELHI; ……………………………………J.
    MAY 29, 2019. [A.S. BOPANNA]
    22