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BALRAJ v. M/S. CURRENT BOOKS - Crl Rev Pet No. 3076 of 2004(D)  RD-KL 133 (7 July 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMCrl Rev Pet No. 3076 of 2004(D)
1. BALRAJ, S/O. K.P.KANARAN,
1. M/S. CURRENT BOOKS,
2. STATE OF KERALA,
For Petitioner :SRI.VINOD VALLIKAPPAN
For Respondent : No Appearance
The Hon'ble MR. Justice R.BASANT
O R D E R
R. BASANT, J.
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Crl.R.P.No. 3076 of 2004
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Dated this the 7th day of July, 2006O RR D E R This revision petition is directed against a concurrent verdict of guilty, conviction and sentence in a prosecution under Section 138 of the N.I. Act.
2. The cheque is for an amount of Rs. 34,425/- The signature in the cheque is admitted. The notice of demand, though duly received and acknowledged, did not evoke any response. The complainant examined himself as PW1 and Exts.P1 to P7 were marked. The accused examined himself as DW1 and Exts.D1 to D3 were marked.
3. The courts below, in these circumstances, concurrently came to the conclusion that the complainant has succeeded in establishing all ingredients of the offence punishable under Section 138 of the N.I. Act. Accordingly they proceeded to pass the impugned concurrent judgments.
4. Called upon to explain the nature of challenge which the petitioner wants to mount against the impugned concurrent judgments, the learned counsel for the petitioner does not strain to challenge the verdict of guilty and conviction on merits. He only prays that leniency may be shown on the question of sentence. I am satisfied that the verdict of guilty and conviction are absolutely justified and unexceptionable. In the absence of any challenge on any specific ground, it is not necessary for me to advert to facts in any greater detail in this order.
5. Coming to the question of sentence, I have already adverted to the principles governing imposition of sentence in a prosecution under Section 138 of the N.I. Act in the decision in Anilkumar v. Shammy (2002 (3) KLT 852). I am not satisfied that there are any compelling reasons which would justify or warrant imposition of any deterrent substantive sentence of imprisonment on the petitioner. Leniency can be shown on the question of sentence. It will have to be zealously ensured the complainant, who has been compelled to wait from 1997 and to fight three rounds of legal battle for the redressal of his grievances is adequately compensated. Subject to the requirement of incorporating the component of reparation of the victim, the sentence/direction can be suitably modified and leniency can be shown. The challenge can succeed only to the above extent. The petitioner is now undergoing the sentence of imprisonment, it is submitted.
6. The respondent has not entered appearance, though the respondent is represented by counsel in the connected case. In the nature of the relief which I propose to grant, it is not necessary to wait for issue and return of notice on the respondent.
7. The trial was conducted before the Chief judicial Magistrate, who, in law, is competent to impose any sentence of fine authorised by law.
8. In the result:
(a) This revision petition is allowed in part.
(b) The impugned verdict of guilty and conviction of the petitioner under Section 138 of the N.I. Act are upheld. ) But the sentence imposed is modified and reduced. In supersession of the sentence imposed on the petitioner by the courts below, he is sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.40,000/- and in default to undergo S.I. for a period of one month. If realised, an amount of Rs.38,000/- shall be released to the complainant under Section 357(1) Cr.P.C. (R. BASANT) Judge
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