Cheque bounce case – Misreading of pleadings and coming to wrong conclusion liable to be set aside = The High Court mainly referred to the assertion in the complaint that the security cheques were demanded in response to which the accused had issued three signed blank cheques and stated if the amount is not returned within two years then by presenting the cheques the same may be encashed . This assertion was assumed by the High Court to mean that the cheques were given only by way of security. Having said that, the High Court proceeded to hold that the �security� offered was not for the discharge of any debt or any liability.= In our opinion, the High Court has muddled the entire issue. The averment in the complaint does indicate that the signed cheques were handed over by the accused to the complainant. The cheques were given by way of security, is a matter of defence. Further, it was not for the discharge of any debt or any liability is also a matter of defence. The relevant facts to countenance the defence will have to be proved – that such security could not be treated as debt or other liability of the accused. That would be a triable issue. We say so because, handing over of the cheques by way of security per se would not extricate the accused from the discharge of liability arising from such cheques.Suffice it to observe, the impugned judgment of the High Court cannot stand the test of judicial scrutiny . The same is, therefore, set aside.

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.1382-1383 OF 2019
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) Nos. 1365-1366/2019 )
M/S WOMB LABORATORIES PVT LTD …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
VIJAY AHUJA & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
O R D E R

  1. Leave granted.
  2. These appeals take exception to the
    Judgment and Order dated 23 rd
    July, 2018 passed by
    the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Crl.M.C.
    Nos. 3084/2015 and 3086/2015 whereby the proceedings
    initiated against respondent No.1 for the offence
    punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable
    Instruments Act, 1881 came to be quashed.
  3. The High Court mainly referred to the
    assertion in the complaint that the security
    cheques were demanded in response to which the
    accused had issued three signed blank cheques and
    stated if the amount is not returned within two
    years then by presenting the cheques the same may

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be encashed . This assertion was assumed by the High
Court to mean that the cheques were given only by
way of security. Having said that, the High Court
proceeded to hold that the �security� offered was
not for the discharge of any debt or any liability.
Resultantly, it came to hold that the action under
Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
cannot proceed against the accused any further.

  1. We have heard counsel for the parties.
  2. In our opinion, the High Court has muddled
    the entire issue. The averment in the complaint does
    indicate that the signed cheques were handed over by
    the accused to the complainant. The cheques were
    given by way of security, is a matter of defence.
    Further, it was not for the discharge of any debt or
    any liability is also a matter of defence. The
    relevant facts to countenance the defence will have
    to be proved – that such security could not be
    treated as debt or other liability of the accused.
    That would be a triable issue. We say so because,
    handing over of the cheques by way of security per
    se would not extricate the accused from the
    discharge of liability arising from such cheques.

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  1. Suffice it to observe, the impugned
    judgment of the High Court cannot stand the test of
    judicial scrutiny . The same is, therefore, set
    aside.
  2. As respondent No.1 has raised other
    contention(s) in the quashing petition, we deem it
    appropriate to relegate the parties before the High
    Court for examining those grounds on its own merits
    in accordance with law.
  3. Counsel for the appellant pointed out that
    in view of the changed legal position, the complaint
    must now proceed before the Court at Ahmedabad. Even
    this contention may be pursued before the High Court
    in the remanded proceedings, which may be dealt with
    appropriately.
  4. The appeals are disposed of in the above
    terms.
    ………………,J.
    (A.M. KHANWILKAR)
    ………………,J.
    (DINESH MAHESHWARI)
    NEW DELHI
    SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

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ITEM NO.31 COURT NO.7 SECTION II-C
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s).1365-1366/2019
(Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 23-07-2018
in CRLMC No. 3084/2015 and CRLMC No. 3086/2015 passed by the High
Court Of Delhi At New Delhi)
M/S WOMB LABORATORIES PVT LTD Petitioner(s)
VERSUS
VIJAY AHUJA & ANR. Respondent(s)
IA No. 6355/2019 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING C/C OF THE IMPUGNED
JUDGMENT)

Date : 11-09-2019 These matters were called on for hearing today.
CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.M. KHANWILKAR
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DINESH MAHESHWARI
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Siddharth Batra, AOR
Mr. Ravinder Kumar, Adv.
Ms. Garima Sehgal, Adv.

For Respondent(s) Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal, AOR
Mr. Ekansh Agarwal, Adv.
Mr. Chirag M. Shroff, AOR
Ms. Mahima C. Shroff, Adv.
Ms. Yashika Verma, Adv

      UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
                          O R D E R

Leave granted.
The appeals are disposed of in terms of the
signed order.
In view of the above, pending application(s)
shall stand disposed of.
(NEETU KHAJURIA)
COURT MASTER (VIDYA NEGI)
COURT MASTER
(Signed order is placed on the file.)