A woman was sentenced to one year imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 21.7 lakh in a cheque bounce case by a Delhi court, which said such matters were unduly increasing pendency leading to “extraction of judicial time”.
The court made the observations while awarding one year imprisonment to Kajal Kharbanda, a resident of East of Kailash in south east Delhi, for not having sufficient funds in the bank account due to which cheques issued by her to complainant Sangeeta Chadha were returned unpaid in 2012.
“Keeping in view the fact that cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act are unduly clogging the dockets of courts leading to docket explosion and extraction of judicial time which could have been given to other cases, and on the other hand due to the dishonest issuance of cheque, the same is eroding of credibility of such instruments, this court does not deem it necessary to extend the benefit of Probation of Offender Act to Kajal,” Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar said.
“Such dishonest conduct leads not only to docket explosion which needs to be tackled with a heavy hand but also has resulted in harassment of the complainant, holding up the valuable money belonging to him,” the court said.
It also said that if the convict failed to pay the fine amount, she would have to spend another six months in jail.
The court said since the complainant has suffered lot of harassment and had to launch and sustain prosecution for a long period, hence the fine be paid to her as compensation.
A complaint was filed in the court by Sangeeta alleging that Kajal had issued her two cheques in November 2012 for Rs 16.7 lakh and Rs five lakh respectively.
When the complainant presented the cheques for encashment, they were dishonoured and a legal notice was sent to Kajal. During trial, Kajal had denied the allegations levelled against her.
The court said the plea taken by Kajal that she had made not only the entire payment but in excess, was false.
The convict sought a lenient view in sentencing saying she has to take care of her husband and a minor son and she was having financial problems.
( Source – PTI )