Supreme Court Upholds Acquittal in 16-Year-Old Cheque Dishonor Case Due to Lack of Proof of Legally Enforceable Debt

Supreme Court upholds acquittal in M/S Rajco Steel Enterprises v. Kavita Saraff & Anr. Cheque dishonor case. Complainant fails to prove enforceable debt. Defendant's defense deemed plausible.

In a recent legal decision, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that cleared an individual of charges in a case where a cheque bounced 16 years ago. The reason for this decision was that the person who filed the complaint failed to prove that the accused owed them money that could be legally enforced.

The judges, Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar, stated, "The person who filed the case didn't prove that any money was given to them as a loan or for any other legally enforceable reason. The High Court found that the supposed debt, for which the cheques were issued, wasn't recorded in the complainant's financial records."

The case revolved around a complaint filed against the accused for the bounced cheque. The complainant argued that the cheque was issued to repay a debt owed to them by the accused. According to the complainant, this situation falls under the presumption outlined in the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, which puts the burden on the accused to prove otherwise.

However, the accused denied owing any money to the complainant. They claimed that the money transferred to their bank account was for the purpose of stock market trading, at the request of the complainant who wanted to keep it secret from their family.

Initially, the accused was found guilty by the trial court, but the decision was overturned by the First Appellate Court, and later upheld by the High Court.

The complainant then appealed to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution, seeking review of the High Court's decision.

Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the accused had presented a reasonable defense against the presumption of debt. They also noted that the High Court's decision was not based on flawed reasoning or insufficient evidence.

The judges emphasized that the Supreme Court should only intervene under Article 136 when lower court decisions are unreasonable or unsupported by evidence.

They stated, "After examining the evidence, both the High Court and the First Appellate Court found no evidence of a legally enforceable debt. We agree with their findings. There is no reason for us to interfere as there is no evidence to suggest that their decisions were wrong."

As a result, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.