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Punjab State Co-op. Supply & Marketing Federation Ltd. Versus Arti Rice and General Mills

2015 (12) TMI 1335 - PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

Order of acquittal - Cheque was bounced due to Insufficient Funds - nature of transactions - accused submitted that it had issued the cheque in question only on account of security against storage of rice and not to discharge their financial liability. - Held that:- A bare reading of the impugned judgment of acquittal would show that the learned trial Court has considered each and every relevant aspect of the matter, before passing the impugned judgment. Documentary as well as oral evidence brou .....

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e this Court to take a different view than the one taken by the learned trial Court. Further, it is the settled proposition of law that whenever two views are possible, the view which goes in favour of acquittal, is to be followed by the courts. In this view of the matter, it is unhesitatingly held that the impugned judgment of acquittal is well justified on facts as well as in law and the same deserves to be upheld, for this reason as well.

It is unhesitatingly held that the learned .....

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#39; for short), seeking leave to file appeal against the impugned judgment of acquittal, bearing CRM-A-1307-MA-2014, CRM-A-1308-MA-2014, CRM-A-1309-MA-2014, CRM-A-1310-MA-2014, CRM-A-1311-MA-2014, CRM-A-1312-MA-2014, CRM-A-1313-MA-2014 and CRM-A-1314-MA-2014, between the same parties, are being disposed of together, vide this common order, as all these applications are arising out of similar set of facts. However, for the facility of reference, facts are being culled out from CRM-A-1307-MA-2014 .....

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rs of respondent No.1. 3. The respondents-accused were issued paddy/rice by the applicant through its District Manager for milling of paddy/rice for the years 1999- 2000. Respondent No.1-accused did not mil the paddy/rice as per agreed terms. The rice was stored in the premises of respondent No.1-accused who failed to supply the rice due against respondents-accused. 4. On 25.02.2001, respondent No.2-accused issued cheque No.702252 for ₹ 12,00,000/- drawn at Punjab and Sind Bank, Nabha Bran .....

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;Funds Insufficient" in account of respondent No.1. Applicant approached respondents No.2 & 3 through their employes to make payment of ₹ 10 lacs but they flatly refused to make the payment of cheque. On 13.03.2001, applicant got issued a legal notice to the respondents but same was received back with the report of refusal and intimation to this effect was received on 13.03.2001. Respondents were repeatedly requested for payment of cheque amount but they paid nothing to the applic .....

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, statement of the accused was recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. All the incriminating material brought on record was put to the accused. They denied the allegations, alleged false implication and claimed complete innocence. Accused also led their oral as well as documentary evidence, in their defence. 7. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the evidence brought on record, the learned trial came to the conclusion that the complainant-applicant has failed to bring .....

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lainant, seeking leave to file appeal against the impugned judgment of acquittal. 8. Learned counsel for the applicant submits that the applicant has brought on record cogent evidence which was sufficient to record the conviction of the respondents-accused. However, since the learned trial Court failed to appreciate the true factual as well as legal aspect of the matter, the impugned judgment of acquittal is not sustainable in law. He further submits that because of inadvertence on the part of t .....

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rays for allowing all these eight applications, by setting aside the impugned judgments of acquittal. 9. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondents-accused submit that it was not an inadvertent mistake but the averments were taken in the complaint correctly to the effect that the accused issued the cheque in question only on account of security against storage of rice and not to discharge their financial liability. They further submit that learned trial Court has rightly appreciated the doc .....

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case, noticed hereinabove, no interference is warranted at the hands of this Court, for the following more than one reasons. 11. A bare reading of the impugned judgment of acquittal would show that the learned trial Court has considered each and every relevant aspect of the matter, before passing the impugned judgment. Documentary as well as oral evidence brought on record by both the parties, was examined, considered and appreciated in the correct perspective, before arriving at a judicious co .....

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to 27 of the impugned judgment of acquittal, which deserve to be noticed here, read as under: - "Since complainant has taken the plea that cheque in question was issued on account of security against shortage of rice, so the complainant was under bounden duty to prove any such shortage in the stock of accused No.1. In the present complaint, testimony of CW6 Waryam Singh branch officer of Markfed is very much material evidence as he has appeared in court to depose on behalf of the complainan .....

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has deposed in cross-examination that he has brought physical verification reports of M/s Arti Rice Mills which was conducted on 15.08.2000 to 08.05.2001 and 31.03.2001. He had further deposed that these physical verifications were issued by concerned authorities after physically verifying of stock of paddy and rice. He has further deposed that on 31.03.2001 after physical verification some paddy was found short but rice equivalent to quantity of paddy was present at the spot. He has further de .....

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ut of paddy was present. He has further deposed that physical verifications conducted on 15.08.2000 and 31.03.2001 the overall stocks of rice were intact. This witness has further proved copies of physical verification as Ex.D6 to Ex.D8. Perusal of physical verification report Ex.D8 which is last physical verification conducted on 31.03.2001 shows that in remarks column it has been mentioned that in the sheller 67% of 12267 bags of rice were lying at the spot, so, when this physical verification .....

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s been examined by the complainant to state on oath in this regard. Furthermore, it is settled principle that if cheque is issued on account of security, it does not attract provisions of Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act. In this regard, Ld. Defence counsel has relied upon the case law Sudhir Kumar Bhalla vs. Jagdish Chand & ors. 2009 (2) Criminal Court Cases 0199, wherein Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that provisions of S.138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act are attracted only .....

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and Marketing Federation Ltd. vs. M/s Goyual Rice and Oil Mills & ors. 2008 (1) Law Digital. In 0095, Hon'ble Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that on dishonor of cheque issued as security for future liability which may arise for supply of goods, no offence made out as there was not debt or liability on the date when the said cheques were issued. So in view of case law cited above, it can be safely concluded that if a cheque is issued on account of security as is in the present .....

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erification, so it cannot be said that accused were under existing liability or debt at the time of issuance of cheque in question." 13. When a pointed question was put to learned counsel for the applicant, as to how the averments taken in the complaint to the effect that cheque in question was issued on account of security against shortage of rice and not in discharge of financial liability, was factually incorrect and whether any action was taken against the erring officers/officials of t .....

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this Court to take a different view than the one taken by the learned trial Court. Further, it is the settled proposition of law that whenever two views are possible, the view which goes in favour of acquittal, is to be followed by the courts. In this view of the matter, it is unhesitatingly held that the impugned judgment of acquittal is well justified on facts as well as in law and the same deserves to be upheld, for this reason as well. 15. The view taken by this Court also finds support fro .....

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es for the Appellate Court in dealing with the cases in which the trial courts have acquitted the accused. The following principles emerge from the cases above: 1. The accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The accused possessed this presumption when he was before the trial court. The trial court's acquittal bolsters the presumption that he is innocent. 2. The power of reviewing evidence is wide and the appellate court can re-appreciate the entire evidence on record. It can .....

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it has "very substantial and compelling reasons" for doing so. 5. If two reasonable or possible views can be reached - one that leads to acquittal, the other to conviction - the High Courts/appellate courts must rule in favour of the accused. 40. This Court in a recently delivered judgment State of Rajasthan v. Naresh @ Ram Naresh 2009 (11) SCALE 699 again examined judgments of this Court and laid down that "An order of acquittal should not be lightly interfered with even if the c .....

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