Issue of complaint under Section 138 N I Act being barred by time has to be raised before the Trial Court #indianlaws

High Court should consider the provisions of condonation of delay inserted as proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act before dismissing the complaint being barred by limitation


In the instant matter there were two communications sent – one a hand written note followed by a formal legal notice. The complaint was filed on the basis of legal notice – the later communication which was sent to the accused. The High Court while hearing petition for quashing directed for dismissal of the complaint on the ground of it being time barred holding that the hand written note was the valid notice and thus there was a delay in filing of the complaint.


On the issue of complaint being dismissed for not being within limitation, the Court held that the High Court was in error in not considering the provision inserted as proviso to clause (b) of Section 142 of the NI Act whereby a delay can be condoned upon filing an application seeking condonation. This is a discretionary power given to Court and the Court in the instant matter should have afforded an opportunity while taking cognizance. The Court however clarified that no proposition of law has been propounded as in the instant case the Complainant did not disclose the fact about hand written note and the cognizance was taken on the basis of legal notice sent as later communication.


                                                                                            [Pawan Kumar Ralli vs. Maninder Singh Narula]


(SC 11.08.2014)