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Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. & Another v/s Ashoka Alloy Steel Ltd. & Others

Company & Directors' Information:- JINDAL POWER LIMITED [Active] CIN = U04010CT1995PLC008985

Company & Directors' Information:- JINDAL STEEL AND POWER LIMITED [Active] CIN = L27105HR1979PLC009913

Company & Directors' Information:- R P K ALLOY STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104TN1989PTC016867

Company & Directors' Information:- M. P. ALLOY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28111UP1995PTC018405

Company & Directors' Information:- J D ALLOY STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27106CH1981PTC004509

Company & Directors' Information:- POWER ALLOY STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100MH1995PTC091149

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL ASHOKA PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U52342WB1959PTC024110

Company & Directors' Information:- ASHOKA PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U52339OR1981PTC001004

Company & Directors' Information:- B D K ALLOY PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U27106KA1973PTC002355

Company & Directors' Information:- ASHOKA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U19129UP1959PTC002744

    CRL. APPEAL NO. 314 OF 2004

    Decided On, 08 November 2005

    At, Supreme Court of India


    For the Appellants: Mohit Mathur, Ashwin Vaish, Abhay Kumar, R. Gopala Krishnan, Subramonium Prasad, Advocates. For Respondents: Rajeev Sharma, Sanjiv Sindhwani, Vijay M. Chauhan, Advocates.

Judgment Text

1. Heard learned Counsel for the parties.

2. By the impugned order, the High Court has quashed the prosecution under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 [for short, ‘the Act’] and Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, on the sole ground that the complaint was filed two days after the expiry of limitation. In the present case, notice was sent under Section 138 of the Act on 4th January, 1997, which was served on the accused on 10th January, 1997, giving him 15 days’ time for making payment, which expired on 25th January, 1997. Cause of action to file the complaint accrued on 26th January, 1997, which day has to be excluded in computing the period of limitation, as required under Section 12(1) of the Limitation Act, 1963. Therefore, the limitation would be counted from 27th January, 1997 and the complaint was filed on 26th January, 1997, within a period of one month from that date, as such, the same was filed well within time.

3. We find the point is concluded by a judgment of this Court in M/s. Saketh India Ltd. and Ors. v. M/s. India Securities Ltd., II (1999) SLT 465=II (1999) CCR 1 (SC)=AIR 1999 SC 1090, in which case taking into consideration the provisions of Section 12(1) of the Limitation Act, it was laid down that the day on which cause of action had accrued has to be excluded for reckoning the period of limitation for filing a complaint under Section 138 of the Act. In the present case, after excluding the day when cause of action accrued, the complaint was filed well within time; as such the High Court was not justified in holding that there was two days’ delay in filing the complaint. For the foregoing reasons, we are of the view that the High Court was not justified in quashing prosecution

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of the respondents. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed, impugned order passed by the High Court is set aside. Now the Trial Court shall proceed with the complaint in accordance with law.