Jeweller sent to jail in cheque bounce case

A Delhi jeweller has been slapped with a one-year jail term in a cheque bounce case by a court, which asked him to pay double the amount of Rs 1.4 lakh loan he had taken over four years ago.

A metropolitan magistrate rejected the convict’s plea for leniency and his release on probation saying that deterrent punishment is needed in cheque bounce cases, which are on the rise.

There is no inclination to grant the benefit of Probation of Offenders Act as the cases of dishonour of the cheque are on high rise in the society and the same (leniency) shall not serve as deterrence to others, the court said.

Considering the totality of the circumstances and also considering the age of the convict, he is sentenced to simple imprisonment for a period of one year and is further ordered to pay compensation to the complainant for an amount of Rs 2,80,000 under section 357(3) CrPC (regarding compensation).

The court also said if convict Jagdish Kumar Bhola, owner of Jagdish Jewellers, failed to pay the compensation, he would have to undergo a further imprisonment for three months. It, however, suspended the sentence for one month and granted him bail to enable him to file appeal against the order.

The order came on Delhi resident P S Bhatia’s complaint under the the Negotiable Instruments Act, which alleged that Bhola had taken a loan of Rs 1.4 lakh and issued cheques to repay it but the same were dishonoured by the bank with a comment “payment stopped by drawer”.

Bhola denied the charges contending that he had already repaid the loan amount and had stopped the payment through cheques as they were issued only as security in lieu of loan. The court convicted him saying no document was brought on record by the accused to show the payment of loan.

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