Imprisonment is not a must while punishing a person who issues cheques which bounce, the Supreme Court stated in the case, Kaushalya Devi vs Roopkishore. In this case, the drawer of cheques was convicted under the Negotiable Instruments Act. However, he deposited Rs 2 lakh out of Rs 3.5 lakh against the cheques. The magistrate felt that under that circumstance, fine would suffice and imprisonment was not necessary. He imposed a fine of Rs 4 lakh and allowed time to pay the balance. This order was challenged by the payee, but the Supreme Court agreed with the magistrate that jail sentence was not called for in this particular case.
Kaushalya Devi Massand Appellant versus Roopkishore Khore Respondent
Date of Decision: 15/03/2011
Judge(s): Hon’ble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Cyriac Joseph.
Subject Index: Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — section 138 — conviction under — quantum of sentence — in question — the ld. Magistrate viewed that imposition of a fine payable as compensation to the Appellant was sufficient to meet the ends of justice in the instant case. The High Court confirmed the order of the ld. Magistrate, with an increased fine — the Supreme Court held no interference with the order of the High Court, except to the extent of increasing the amount of compensation payable by a further sum of Rs.2 lakhs — appeal partly allowed.