July 11, 2012

Longer jail term for bounced cheque

The Supreme Court took a tough stand last week on those who issued cheques without sufficient balance in the bank by stating that if compensation was not paid, the court could order further imprisonment. In this case, the drawer of the cheque was sentenced to undergo three months’ imprisonment and to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the payee. If the compensation was not paid, the accused person had to undergo a further two months’ imprisonment. The convict appealed to the Madras high court against the order of additional imprisonment. The high court, while confirming the conviction, was of opinion that no separate sentence could be awarded in default of payment of compensation when the substantive sentence of imprisonment is awarded. The high court, therefore, set aside the sentence in default of payment of compensation. Both parties appealed to the Supreme Court. It set aside the high court ruling on the default sentence in the judgment, R Mohan vs A K Vijay Kumar. The court said: “Deterrence can be infused into the order only by providing for a default sentence.” 

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