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2023 (9) TMI 349 - SUPREME COURT
Dishonour of Cheque - legally recoverable debt or not - rebuttal of presumption as incorporated under Section 139 of the NI Act - HELD THAT:- This Court keeping in perspective the nature of the proceedings arising under the NI Act and also keeping in view that the cheque itself is a promise to pay even if the debt is barred by time has in that circumstance kept in view the provision contained in Section 25(3) of the Contract Act and has indicated that if the question as to whether the debt or liability being barred by limitation was an issue to be considered in such proceedings, the same is to be decided based on the evidence to be adduced by the parties since the question of limitation is a mixed question of law and fact - this Court was of the view that entertaining a petition under Section 482 CrPC to quash the proceedings at the stage earlier to the evidence would not be justified.
The provision would indicate that in respect of a promissory note payable at a fixed time, the period of limitation being three years would begin to run when the fixed time expires. Therefore, in the instant case, the time would begin to run from the month of December, 2016 and the period of limitation would expire at the end of three years thereto i.e. during December, 2019. In that light, the cheque issued for Rs.10,00,000/- which is the subject matter herein is dated 28.04.2017 which is well within the period of limitation. The complaint in CC No.681 of 2017 was filed in the Court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on 11.07.2017. So is the case in the analogous complaints. Therefore, in the instant case not only the amount was a legally recoverable debt which is evident on the face of it, the complaint was also filed within time. Hence there was no occasion whatsoever in the instant case to exercise the power under Section 482 to quash the complaint.
The order impugned is accordingly set aside - Appeal allowed.