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Bounced cheque? Civil & criminal cases can run together

By BS Reporter in New Delhi
June 30, 2009 11:05 IST

The Supreme Court has set aside the judgement of the Delhi high court and ruled that in a case of bounced cheque, both civil and criminal cases can go on at the same time.

In this case, Vishnu Dutt vs Daya Sapra, drawer of the bounced cheque stated that her cheque book was forcibly taken by a former policeman and used in lieu of a bribe in a property transaction.

The criminal court believed it and acquitted her of the charge of issuing cheque without sufficient fund in the bank account.

However, she was sued for repayment of the loan. She argued that since the criminal court had acquitted her, the civil suit for recovery of the loan could not stand.

The high court accepted this contention, but the Supreme Court quashed the high court decision stating that the civil suit for recovery of loan would continue even if she was acquitted under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

Cash in transit: Insurance ends at bank

The National Consumer Commission has held in the case, National Insurance Company vs Ravi Traders, that cash brought to a bank for deposit would no longer be "in transit" if it is put in the tray of the cashier. In this case, the insurance company had indemnified the firm for money "in transit" within 15 miles of the bank.

The employee of the firm put the cash in the tray on the table of the cashier. Then some unknown person called the employee on mobile phone. He left the desk for some time to talk.

When he returned, the money was missing. The firm sued the insurance company arguing that the money was still in transit as it had not been deposited in the bank.

The Madhya Pradesh state consumer commission ruled in the dispute that the money when stolen from the cash counter was still in transit.

On appeal by the insurance company, the National Consumer Commission stated that the money was in transit only up to the point till it was put in the tray for deposit. When it was stolen, the money was neither in the hands of the insured nor in the hands of its employee.

Higher cost for best location plot  upheld

The Supreme Court has ruled that a housing board could charge extra amount for corner plots and best locations, even if the plots are allotted in a draw of lots.

The National Consumer Commission had quashed the demand for extra payment in the case, MP Housing Board vs Rajesh Kumar.

The board appealed to the Supreme Court. It allowed the appeal and asserted that though the allotment was by lottery, the terms and conditions could specify additional charges for best location plots.

Tax returns: HC order set aside

The Supreme Court has set aside the Allahabad High Court judgement in the appeal Kushal Fertilisers Ltd vs Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Meerut, and stated that the question whether a firm had suppressed facts to evade excise duty was one of fact and not of law.  The excise department had issued show cause notice to the firm manufacturing conduit pipes for alleged suppression of facts.

The firm moved the tribunal which quashed the notices. The department appealed to the high court. It treated the petition as a 'reference' on questions of law and upheld the show cause notices. On appeal by the firm, the Supreme Court ruled that the high court was wrong and it should have decided the facts instead of raising questions of law.

Penalty for misdeclaration upheld

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of M/s Radhy Shyam Ratanlal against the order of the Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai, imposing penalty on goods imported by the firm. The firm had imported bulk quanties of cloves after entering into a contract with M/s. Ketan Trading Company, Singapore.

The customs house initiated an investigation into the declared price of the goods. It found that the prevailing international price of cloves during the relevant period was different from what was declared. Applying Section 14(1) of the Customs Act, the Supreme Court dismissed the importer's appeal.

BS Reporter in New Delhi
Source: source