At, High Court of Delhi
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE I.S. MEHTA
For the Petitioners: Vineet Sinha, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, S.C. Garg, Imran Khan, Advocates.
1. By this order I shall dispose of the applications dated 22.05.2017 moved by the petitioners.
2. Learned counsel for the petitioners has submitted that in spite of the judgment dated 25th October 2016, the Court below went wrong in passing of the impugned order dated 20th March 2017 for further framing of the notice/charge qua against M/s.Meenakshi Sarees Pvt. Ltd. (petitioner No.2 herein) through t
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he same Directors who have been exonerated by the judgment in the criminal proceedings under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioners further submitted that necessary directions be issued to the Court below not to proceed with the matter unless the petitioners are wanted in any other proceedings other than the judgment dated 25th October 2016 passed by this Court.
4. On the other hand learned counsel for the respondents has pointed out that it is the petitioners who have invited trouble for themselves by moving the applications. He has further submitted that the civil litigation between the parties are pending and it is the petitioners who want to just delay the proceedings before the Court below.
5. I have perused the judgment dated 25th October 2016. The relevant paragraphs of the said judgment is reproduced as under:
'32. Instant is a case where the learned Magistrate has not gone into the depth of From-32, where the petitioner i.e., Ms. Richa Aggarwal, was not even an existing Director of the Company at the time of issuance of the said cheques in question. The learned Magistrate has not gone into the depth of the cause of action arisen qua against the petitioner, i.e., Ms. Mohini Aggarwal, as the cheques in question were issued by the deceased Managing Director, i.e., Mr. Vineet Aggarwal, of the Company on 20.09.2014 and subsequently, there was no occasion of actus reus on the part of Ms. Mohini Aggarwal. It is because of this reason she had replied to the notice dated 12.11.2014 that she does not owe any liability as alleged in the said notice.
33. There is no other factor or circumstance which could show any change of state of mind of Ms. Mohini Aggarwal after issuance of the cheques in question by the deceased, i.e., Mr. Vineet Aggarwal, till the filing of the complaint petition CC. No. 2011/1/14 by the respondent to attract the provisions of Section 138 read with Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The aforesaid facts on record only indicates liability if so there is, it could be of civil liability and not criminal liability, which could be put into motion under Section 138 read with Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Reliance is placed on the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Pooja Ravinder Devidasani(supra).'
6. It is quite evident and explicitly clear from the judgment that the criminal proceedings under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is not made out qua against the petitioner’s Directors viz. Ms. Mohini Aggarwal and Ms. Richa Aggarwal. The allegation is that M/s.Meenakshi Sarees Pvt. Ltd. were represented by their respective Directors viz. Ms. Mohini Aggarwal and Ms. Richa Aggarwal. Once the respondent failed to make out the initiation of proceedings against the aforesaid Directors i.e. Ms. Mohini Aggarwal and Ms. Richa Aggarwal under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the only remedy left is the civil liability which has arisen between the parties on the relevant date of their transaction. M/s.Meenakshi Sarees Pvt. Ltd. ipso facto could not give rise to any act to invoke the criminal jurisdiction, therefore, it is automatic that if any liability arises that would be subject to the civil jurisdiction by a competent Court. Consequently, the impugned order dated 20th March 2017 passed by the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi is set aside. No further directions are required to proceed the matter further in the said complaint. However, since the dispute between the parties is civil in nature, the parties are at liberty to determine their dispute before the competent civil Court of its jurisdiction.
7. The present applications are disposed of accordingly.
8. The trial Court record be sent back along with copy of this order.