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2022 (6) TMI 1033 - Indian Laws
Head Note / Extract:
Dishonor of Cheque - insufficiency of funds - Whether in the appeal preferred by the accused the Appellate Court can enhance the punishment by awarding compensation which the trial Court has conspicuously omitted to award and the complainant had not preferred any appeal seeking compensation? - HELD THAT:- Sub Section (1) of Section 357 of Cr.P.C. which empowers the Court to order part or whole of the fine amount pay to the person who sustained loss and Sub-Section (4) of Section 357 of Cr.P.C., specifically say thus power may be exercised also by the Appellate Court and Court of revision, such exercise of power by the Appellate Court subject to Section 386(b)(iii) of Cr.P.C. only. Examine the wordings of Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act, no doubt fine can be imposed twice the amount of the cheque. In exercise of power under Section 357 of Cr.P.C. from the fine amount, Courts can order to pay compensation. In this case, while the Trial Court has consciously imposed fine of Rs. 5,000/- and no compensation ordered, in the appeal by the accused, no power vested on the Appellate Court to enhance the sentence ordering compensation in the absence of appeal by the complainant. The compensation is not an independent component under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act which is a special Act. It should be part of the fine amount and fine is part of sentence. It is a trite principle of law that, in appeal preferred by the accused person sentence cannot be enhanced. Therefore, the order of the Appellate Court perverse, contrary to law, hence liable to be set aside. The Bail bond stands cancelled. The petitioner is directed to surrender before the trial Court to undergo the remaining period of sentence as modified - the Criminal Revision is partly allowed.