Ram Sharan vs Hem Raj Goyal on 16 February, 2024

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Punjab-Haryana High Court

Ram Sharan vs Hem Raj Goyal on 16 February, 2024

                                                         Neutral Citation No:=2024:PHHC:022613



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CRR No.2052 of 2019 (O&M)                                          2024:PHHC:022613

            IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
                         AT CHANDIGARH

215

                                       CRR No.2052 of 2019 (O&M)
                                       Date of Decision: 16.02.2024

RAM SHARAN                                           ......Petitioner(s)

        Vs
HEM RAJ GOYAL                                        ....Respondent(s)

CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE HARKESH MANUJA

Present:     Mr. Abhinav Singla, Advocate
             for the petitioner.

             Mr. Sukhchain Singh Gill, Advocate
             for the respondent.
                    ****

HARKESH MANUJA, J. (Oral)

[1]. Challenge in the present revision petition is to the judgment dated

17.07.2019 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, whereby the appeal

filed against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 15.02.2017

passed by the Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sangrur, stood dismissed, thereby

upholding the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the Trial

Court.

[2]. On account of dishonor of two cheques for a total amount of

Rs.90,000/-, a complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act read with Sections 420 &

193 IPC came to be filed at the instance of respondent-complainant against the

petitioner. On the basis of the evidence recorded, learned Trial Court vide

judgment/order dated 15.02.2017, convicted the petitioner under Section 138 of the

NI Act and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 01

year, besides fine of Rs.4,000/- and in default of payment of fine to further undergo

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CRR No.2052 of 2019 (O&M) 2024:PHHC:022613

simple imprisonment for 30 days. The complainant was also awarded a sum of

Rs.90,000/- as compensation under Section 357 Cr.P.C.

[3]. Aggrieved thereof, the petitioner filed first appeal before the court of

Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, which was dismissed vide judgment dated

17.07.2019, thereby upholding the judgment of conviction and order of sentence

dated 15.02.2017 passed by the Trial Court.

[4]. Impuging the aforesaid judgments passed by both the Courts below,

learned counsel for the petitioner submits that during the pendency of present

revision petition, better sense has prevailed and the petitioner has discharged his

liability towards respondent-complainant. Out of total outstanding amount of

Rs.90,000/-, in terms of order dated 13.09.2019 passed by this Court, a demand

draft in a sum of Rs.20,000/- was deposited with the Registrar (Judicial) of this

Court by the petitioner on 18.09.2019, besides it another demand draft in a sum of

Rs.80,000/- dated 12.02.2024 which includes the remaining cheque amount as well

Rs.10,000/- as cost(s) of litigation has been handed over to learned counsel

representing the respondent/complainant by learned counsel for the petitioner

today in Court. The factum of compromise has even been admitted by the learned

counsel representing respondent/complainant.

[5]. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and gone through the

paper book.

[6]. A conjoint reading of Section 138 read with Section 147 of the 1881

Act, makes it clear that every offence punishable under 1881 Act is compoundable.

Section 147 of the aforesaid Act is reproduced hereunder for reference:-

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CRR No.2052 of 2019 (O&M) 2024:PHHC:022613

“147 Offences to be compoundable. —

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 (2 of 1974), every offence punishable under this Act shall be
compoundable.”

Applying the aforesaid proposition to the facts and circumstances of

the present case, the petitioner having settled the dispute with the respondent-

complainant having made the entire payment, offence under Section 138 of the NI

Act, thus, stands compounded. The aforesaid view is mainly dervied from the

proposition of law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of

“Ghanshyam Gautam and another vs. Usha Rani (since deceased) thr. LRs.,

passed in Criminal Appeal No.65 of 2024, SLP Crl. No.3289-2018, decided on

04.01.2024.

[7]. Furthermore, following the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme

Court in case of “B.V. Seshaiah Vs. The State of Telangana & Anr.,

2023(1)R.C.R. (Criminal) 831” the compounding of offence has to be followed by

setting aside of conviction order passed by the Courts below. Reference may be

made to Paragraph Nos. 10 to 13 thereof, which are reproduced hereunder:-

10. “In the case of M/s Meters and Instruments Private Limited & Anr.

Vs. Kanchan Mehta, this Court held that the nature of offence under
Section 138 of the N.I. Act is primarily related to a civil wrong and has
been specifically made a compoundable offence. The relevant paragraph of
the judgment has been extracted herein:

‘This Court has noted that the object of the statute was to facilitate
smooth functioning of business transactions. The provision is necessary as
in many transactions cheques were issued merely as a device to defraud the
creditors. Dishonour of cheque causes incalculable loss, injury and
inconvenience to the Vide the Banking, Public Financial Institutions and
Negotiable Instruments Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988 payee and credibility

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CRR No.2052 of 2019 (O&M) 2024:PHHC:022613

of business transactions suffers a setback. At the same time, it was also
noted that nature of offence under Section 138 primarily related to a civil
wrong and the 2002 amendment specifically made it compoundable.’

11. This is a very clear case of the parties entering into an agreement
and compounding the offence to save themselves from the process of
litigation. When such a step has been taken by the parties, and the law very
clearly allows them to do the same, the High Court then cannot override
such compounding and impose its will.

12. It must also be noted that the respondent No.2 was duty-bound to
file a compromise petition before the High Court, and by not doing the
same has withdrawn key information from the High Court, which has led to
an unwarranted confirmation of the Appellants’ conviction.

13. We, therefore, allow these Appeals and set aside the order of
conviction passed by the trial Court. It is, however, kept open to the parties
to settle their dispute as per the terms of the Memorandum of
Understanding.”

[8]. In view of the discussion made hereinabove and to give a complete

quietus to the litigation, the present revision petition is accepted. The petitioner

having admittedly discharged his liability towards the cheque in question, the

judgments of conviction and orders of sentence passed by both the Courts below

are hereby set aside, resulting into acquittal of the petitioner. The demand draft for

an amount of Rs.20,000/-deposited vide order dated 13.09.2019 be released in

favour of the respondent/complainant upon due verification.




                                                (HARKESH MANUJA)
February 16, 2024                                   JUDGE
Atik
             Whether speaking/reasoned          Yes/No
             Whether reportable                 Yes/No




                                                            Neutral Citation No:=2024:PHHC:022613

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