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Criminal Appeal No. 292 of 2021 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 8498 of 2019) and Criminal Appeal No. 293 of 2021 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 8564 of 2019)

Decided On: 09.03.2021

Appellants: Sumeti Vij Vs. Respondent: Paramount Tech Fab Industries

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi


Ajay Rastogi, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The Appellant is aggrieved by the judgment dated 30th April, 2019 passed by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh holding the Appellant guilty of offence Under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") after reversal of the finding of acquittal returned by the learned trial Judge by its judgment dated 28th September, 2012.

3. The brief facts of the case which emanates from the record are that the Appellant Accused approached the complainant-Respondent in its factory at Moginand and expressed her desire to purchase non-woven fabric from the complainant. On the basis of order placed by the Appellant, non-woven fabric was sold to the Appellant vide invoice No. 120 dated 01st October, 2010 and invoice No. 135 dated 16th October, 2010 amounting to Rs. 5,07,062/- and Rs. 5,10,000/- which was delivered through public carrier truck bearing Nos. HR-38G-5607 and HP-71-0693 to the Appellant Accused and in lieu thereof, a cheque bearing No. 323930 dated 15th October, 2010 and No. 323935 dated 01st November, 2010 were issued by the Appellant in the name of the complainant from her account of the Punjab National Bank, Karnal in order to meet the legal existing and enforceable liabilities. The cheques on presentation were returned vide memo dated 19th October, 2010 and 10th November, 2010 from Punjab National Bank, Karnal with a note of "insufficient funds" in the account of the Appellant. Two legal notices dated 29th October, 2010 and 19th November, 2010 were sent by the complainant to the Appellant on two addresses. The notices were duly served but the Appellant neither responded to the notices nor made any payment in furtherance thereto within the statutory period hence, two separate complaints were filed by the complainant-Respondent Under Section 138 of the Act against the Appellant-Accused.

4. The complainant-Respondent recorded the preliminary evidence before the learned trial Judge and thereafter, the Appellant-Accused was directed to be summoned for committing an offence punishable Under Section 138 of the Act. After the presence of the Appellant had been secured, the learned trial Judge put notice of accusation, vis-a-viz the Accused, for an offence allegedly committed by her Under Section 138 of the Act whereto she pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

5. The complainant in order to prove its case against the Appellant-Accused, has examined three witnesses and placed reliance on the documentary evidence which were duly exhibited and referred to in detail by the learned trial Judge in para 3 of its judgment. On conclusion of recording of complainant's evidence, the statement of the Appellant-Accused was recorded under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter referred to as the "Code") by the learned trial Judge wherein the Appellant-Accused claimed innocence and pleaded false implication in the case however, did not lead any evidence in defence.

6. On perusal of the evidence on record, the learned trial Judge returned a finding that the complainant failed to establish th........