Daijiworld News Network - Mangalore (GA)
Mangalore, Feb 3: In a landmark judgement, Dakshina Kannada district first additional sessions judge H P Sandesh has hiked the penalty of an accused in the bounced cheque case to 6-month imprisonment as against the earlier ruling of 7 days' imprisonment.
One Dayanand Natekar of the city had borrowed Rs 1 lac from John Mendonca by cheque. In repayment he issued a cheque. But the cheque bounced owing to insufficient funds in the bank account when it was presented by John Mendonca. So John had a notice issued to Dayanand, which was answered by the latter.
Accordingly, John filed a case against Dayanand under the Negotiable Instruments Act. The V JMFC court in its verdict sentenced Dayanand with 1-month imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of Rs 130,000 which included Rs 30,000 as fine. It was also ruled that if he failed to pay the penalty he would have to undergo 7 days' of imprisonment in lieu thereof.
But John Mendonca filed another case in the district sessions court claiming that the penalty and imprisonment handed out to the accused was minimal compared to the nature of his crime. He cited the ruling by the Supreme Court as justification to his appeal and pleaded with the court to increase the penalty awarded to the accused.
Taking up the case for hearing, the first additional sessions judge H P Sandesh in his judgment upheld the plea by John Mendonca based on the earlier judgements by the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court. Hence the accused has now been awarded 3-month imprisonment as against the earlier ruling of 1-month imprisonment.
Even the penalty has been raised to Rs 150,000 from Rs 130,000. Moreover, if the accused fails to pay the penalty in time, he would be subjected to 6-month imprisonment instead of the 7 days' imprisonment as stated in the earlier judgment.
This could be a benchmark judgement, which could be a precedent, in the coming days. This is one of the rare cases in which the penalty and imprisonment of the accused was increased after plaintiff appealed in the sessions court.