The service of notice upon the accused in cheque dishonour case cannot be denied in light of Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, which provides a presumption in favour of the complainant that the notice had been delivered.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently held that the service of notice upon the accused in cheque dishonour case cannot be denied in light of Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, which provides a presumption in favour of the complainant that the notice had been delivered.

The bench comprising Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi was dealing with a revision petition against the judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana dismissing petitioner’s appeal and upholding the judgment of conviction by the Judicial Magistrate.

The Petitioner was said to have dishonoured a cheque issued allegedly to discharge its liability against goods purchased from the complainant. He on the other hand claimed that the cheque in question had not been issued in order to discharge any legal enforceable liability towards the complainant and that the same was misused. He alleged that no goods were received by him and that the complainant had forged the cheque. It was further alleged that no statutory notice was served upon him.

The trial court, while convicting the Petitioner, held that as per provisions of the General Clauses Act, there was a presumption that once the notice had been sent vide a registered post to the address of the petitioners-accused, it was deemed to have been served. The appeal was also dismissed.

In revision, the High Court observed,

” Firstly, the service of the notice upon the accused cannot be denied in the light of Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, as per which, a presumption is raised in favour of the complainant that the notice had, in fact, been delivered. The arguments that certain documents had been forged and fabricated is absolutely incorrect. Had that been the case, the accused would have certainly filed a criminal complaint in that regard. No effort has been made to examine any expert either.”
Further, the court noted that the petitioner has not denied his signatures upon the cheque. His stand is only that the cheque, in question, had not been issued in the discharge of any legally enforceable debt and the same had been misused. In fact, he states that no goods had been received by him.

The court noted that there is absolutely no infirmity in the judgment of conviction passed by the court. Therefore, finding no merit in the present petition, the court dismissed the same.

So far as reducing the sentence of the petitioner was concerned, the court observed that he is said to be untraceable which means he has certainly not surrendered. Therefore, no mitigating circumstances appear for reducing his sentence.

Case Title : Anil Dhir and another v. State of Punjab and Another

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