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Laxmi Sales And Ors. vs Bakeman’S Home Products Pvt. Ltd. on 14 September, 1990

Punjab-Haryana High Court
Laxmi Sales And Ors. vs Bakeman’S Home Products Pvt. Ltd. on 14 September, 1990
Equivalent citations: (1991) 99 PLR 111
Author: S Bajaj
Bench: S Bajaj


JUDGMENT

S.D. Bajaj, J.

1. Criminal Misc. No. 4857-M of 1989 has been filed by M/s Laxmi Sales, Bazar No. 2, “Bhilwara, Rajasthan. a partnership concern and its three partners namely Laxmi Lal Ranka, Mohinder Lal Ranka and Bhagat Ram Somani for quashing the complaint Annexure P 1, summoning order Annexure P 2 and also subsequent proceedings taken therein on the ground of their being an abuse of the process of court. Similar request made in Criminal Revision No. 10 filed on 7th March, 1989 was declined by the learned Additional Sections Judge, Patiala, on 24th April, 1989,

2. It is asserted in the quashing petition that the dispute between the parties is of a civil nature arising of settlement of accounts, that on railing the complaint Annexure P. 1 no criminal offence is made out against the petitioners, that Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Cads are mutually exclusive and that the Criminal Court at Patiala does not have the jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate upon the complaint because the agreement of dealership was signed at Bhilwara and no part of the cause of action arose at Patiala.

3. In reply it was asserted that the Revision filed against the summoning order having been dismissed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, second Revision under the garb of Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code petition does not lie. It was further asserted that the agreement of agency was finalised and accepted at Patiala, that the accounts were settled at Patiala, that cheques of payment due on settlement of accounts were payable by the bankers of the petitioners at Patiala and, therefore, the Criminal Court at Patiala has the jurisdiction, that the payment of cheques aforesaid having been stopped with dishonest intention of cheating the respondents and misappropriating the supplies admittedly made by the as respondents to the petitioners as their Agents, the dispute ceased to be of a civil nature and the petitioners could legitimately be proceeded against for it under Sections 406/420 read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code. Hence the quashing petition merits dismissal.

4. I have heard Shri R. K. Aggarwal, Advocate, for the petitioners, Shri Rajiv Atma Ram, Advocate, for the respondent and have carefully gone through the relevant records.

5. Relevant averments in the complaint Annexure P. I read :-

“That a sum of Rs. 46,269.30 was due from the accused in the account of Bakeman’s Home Products Pvt. Ltd; and a sum of Rs. 63,166.35 was due from the accused in the account of Rasan Detergents, which is a Division of Bakeman’s Home Products Pvt. Ltd. The above said payments were due from the accused against the goods supplied by the complainant company from time to time and after adjustment of ail the payments made by them.

That the complainant company’s representatives Shri I. D. Sharma, Director Marketing and Sh. Charan Singh Dy. Sales Manager, visited the place of the accused on 21-9-1968 and after settling all the disputes and the accounts mutually and confirming the balance of Rs. 45,269.30 and Rs. 63,166.35 and on the request of the accused, Cheques No. 810608, dated 27-9-1988 for Rs. 45,269,20 and cheque No. 672747, dated 27-9-1988 for Rs. 63,166.88 were presented to their backers at Patiala. The information was also sent to the accused by the complainant company vide letter dated 24-9-1988.

That the accused instead of honouring these cheques which were presented to their bankers at their request, informed the complainant company telegraphically by taking the excuse denied any settlement and asked for coming and settling the account again, la view of the telegram of the accused, the complainant company requested the accused vide telegram dated 3-10 1988 to honour the cheques in question keeping in view the settlement already made.

That inspite of all this the accused in connivance with each other, intentionally and wilfully gave directions to their bankers for stopping the payment of the complainant company, resulting them heavy losses. The amount due from the accused have shown in the statements of accounts of the accused, which Lave been submitted with this complaint.

That the acts of the accused amounts to Criminal breach of the trust and cheating along with hatching a conspiracy to defraud with the complainant company.”

To support these allegations it has been asserted in paragraphs 5 to 7 of the reply. “The correct position is that the petitioner from applied to the answering respondent to become their dealers for Bhilwara City for the respondents various products They came to Patiala and settled terms and conditions with the answering respondent at Patiala. There- after, they sent cheques/drafts for the security amount. On receipt of the security amount agreement forms were sent to the petitioners. The petitioners signed the agreement forms and seat them back for acceptance to Patiala. The answering respondent finalised the contract by singniag on the agreement form after its receipt from the petitioners. This was done at Patiala. Consequently, the contract was entered into at Patiala. Hence the courts at Patiala have got the jurisdiction to go into this matter. In pursuance of the contract the petitioners gave Co the answering respondents signed cheques to be used by the answering respondent as and when stock of goods was despatched to the petitioners. The practice being followed is chat whenever stocks are despatched by the answering respondent from Patiala, the amount of money due is collected by depositing one of the signed cheques lying with the answering respondent. This position was accepted by the petitioners and this practice was continuing since 1985. The petitioner never raised any objection against this. No prior approval was ever taken by the answering respondent for encashing a signed . cheque. As and when a demand for supply of stock was received from the petitioners, the goods would be despatched and a cheque encashed.”

6. With reference to the observations, made in Jalpa Parshad Aggarwal v. State of Haryana and Anr., 1987 (2) R.C. R 427. Ktishan Kumar Bharadia v. The State of Haryana, 1989 (1) R. C. R 268. and G. Dharan arajan v. Jai Bhagwan, 1989 (l)Ch. L. R. 120. it has been asserted that the dispute being of civil nature in respect of amount found due on rendition of accounts, the complaint Annexure P. 1 as also the summoning order Annexure P. 2 . both, call for being, quashed. All these three authorities are clearly on distinguishable . facts. Facts and-circumstances obtaining in the present case are almost akin to the facts and circumstances obtaining in Ravinder Pal Singh Gautam v. M/s Punjab Tractors Lid, 1987 (1) R. C. R. 680. wherein my learned brother S. S Sodbi, J. observed “No exception can possibly be taken to the summoking order Annexure P.2 and the quashing petition merits rejection.” Then again it was held by the Supreme Court in Rajan Kumar Mochananda v. State of Kurnataka, J.T. 1987 (4) S. C. 687., that the present revision under the garb of 482, Criminal Procedure Coda petition for quashing does not lie after dismissal of Criminal Revision No. 10 filed on 7th March, 1989, by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala. on 24th April, 1989. The petitioners having stopped payment of cheques issued to make payment for the supplies admittedly received have obviously deceived the respondents in the quashing petition and the complainants before the learned trial court Criminal mi-appropriation/breach of trust has also bees committed by them in. respect of goods supplied by respondents to them . Averments reproduced above from the complaint Annexure P 1, therefore, clearly bring out the commission of criminal offence by the accused-petitioners and as per guide lines embodied in State of West Bengal and Ors. v. Swapen Kumar Guha and Ors., A. I. R. 1982 S.C. 949, there is no ground for quashing the complaint. The relevant observations made by the Supreme Court therein read, “Whether an offence has been disclosed or not must necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. If ok a consideration of the relevent materials, the Court is satisfied that ass offence is disclosed, the Court will normally not interfere with the investigation into the offence and will generally allow the investigation in the offence to be completed far collecting materials for proving the offence.”

7. Further more agrement of agency was accepted at Patiala, the bankers of the petitioners are at Patiala, the cheques issued were therefore payable at Patiala, and the payment of these cheques issued by the petitioners was withheld by the bankers at Patiala, therefore, the criminal court at Patiala has the jurisdiction.

8. Cheating is alleged to have been committed by the petitioners through their stopping the payment of cheques; while criminal misappropriation/criminal breach of trust is attributed to them in respect of the goods supplied. Plea of the two offences being mutually exclusive could be urged if both the offences were alleged to be the outcome of one single transaction. Then again the relief of quashing the complaint is not available even if either of the two offences is prima- facie made out against the petitioners on a mere reading the complaint; which of coarse is as has been held above,

9. For the reasons given above, Criminal Misc. No. 4857-M of 1989 is rendered to be wholly without merit and is consequently’ dismissed. it shall not, however preclude the petitioners from availing themselves of the allegations made in the quashing petition as their defence in the complaint being adjudicated upon by the learned trial court.

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