However, the learned Trial Court found contradiction in the number of cartons in the complaint as well as in the statement of the appellant. It was found that the cheque amount is more than the amount allegedly due on the date when cheque was presented, therefore, the complaint was dismissed. It held that there are three different versions as to the number of apple cartons, therefore, the alleged amount would have been less than the amount claimed by the complainant. Once the agent of the respondent has admitted the settlement of due amount and in absence of any other evidence the Trial Court or the High Court could not dismiss the complaint only on account of discrepancies in the determination of the amount due or oral evidence in the amount due when the written document crystalizes the amount due for which the cheque was issued.
- The accused has failed to lead any evidence to rebut the statutory presumption, a finding returned by both the Trial Court and the High Court. Both Courts not only erred in law but also committed perversity when the due amount is said to be disputed only on account of discrepancy in the cartons, packing material or the rate to determine the total liability as if the appellant was proving his debt before the Civil Court. Therefore, it is presumed that the cheques in question were drawn for consideration and the holder of the cheques i.e., the appellant received the same in discharge of an existing debt. The onus, thereafter, shifts on the accused appellant to establish a probable defence so as to rebut such a presumption, which onus has not been discharged by the respondent.
- Learned counsel for the respondent has referred to the judgment reported in M. S. Narayana Menon v. State of Kerala 9 (2006) 6 SCC 39 that evidence adduced by the complainant can be relied upon to rebut
the presumption of consideration. However, said judgment has no
applicability to the facts of the present case as the Trial Court has found that the presumption is not rebutted but still the Trial Court dismissed the complaint for the reason that the appellant has failed to prove the amount mentioned in the cheque as due amount. Once the cheque is proved to be issued it carries statutory presumption of consideration. Then the onus is on the respondent to disprove the presumption at which the respondenthas miserably failed.
- In Kumar Exports evidence to rebut the presumption was led and accepted by the Court. In these circumstances, it was held that the burden shifts back to the complainant and the presumption
under the Act will not again come to his rescue. However, in the present case, the presumption of consideration has not been rebutted by the respondent even on the basis of the evidence laid by the appellant. The difference in the number of cartons supplied or the rate charged is not relevant when the accounts were settled in writing to rebut the presumption of consideration of issuance of a cheque.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1545 OF 2019
UTTAM RAM Vs DEVINDER SINGH HUDAN
HEMANT GUPTA, J.
Dated:OCTOBER 17, 2019