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Case Law Details

Case Name : Rajaram S/O Sriramulu Naidu Vs Maruthachalam (Supreme Court of India)
Appeal Number : Criminal Appeal No. 1978 of 2013
Date of Judgement/Order : 18/01/2022
Related Assessment Year :
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Rajaram S/O Sriramulu Naidu (Since Deceased) Through L.RS Vs. Maruthachalam (Since Deceased) Through L.RS.  (Supreme Court of India)

Learned Trial Court found that the Income Tax Returns of the complainant did not disclose that he lent amount to the accused, and that the declared income was not sufficient to give loan of Rs.3 lakh. Therefore, the case of the complainant that he had given a loan to the accused from his agricultural income was found to be unbelievable by the learned Trial Court. The learned Trial Court found that it was highly doubtful as to whether the complainant had lent an amount of Rs.3 lakh to the accused. The learned Trial Court also found that the complaint had failed to produce the promissory note alleged to have been executed by the accused on 25th October 1998. After taking into consideration the defence witnesses and the attending circumstances, the learned Trial Court found that the defence was a possible defence and as such, the accused was entitled to benefit of doubt. The standard of proof for rebutting the presumption is that of preponderance of probabilities. Applying this principle, the learned Trial Court had found that the accused had rebutted the presumption on the basis of the evidence of the defence witnesses and attending circumstances.

The scope of interference in an appeal against acquittal is limited. Unless the High Court found that the appreciation of the evidence is perverse, it could not have interfered with the finding of acquittal recorded by the learned Trial Court.

Insofar as the reliance placed by Mr. Prabhakar on the judgment of this Court in the case of Bir Singh v. Mukesh Kumar (supra) is concerned, in the said case, though the accused was convicted by the learned Trial Court, which conviction was maintained by the Appellate Court, the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction interfered with the same and acquitted the accused. This Court found that in exercise of revisional jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the High Court could not, in the absence of perversity, upset concurrent findings of fact. In any case, in the said case, the accused had not led evidence with regard to the financial capacity of the complainant. This Court held that once a cheque was signed and handed over by the accused, it would attract presumption under Section 139 of the N.I. Act in the absence of any cogent evidence to show that the cheque was not issued in the discharge of a debt.

In the case of Kalamani Tex and another v. P. Balasubramanian (supra), the learned Trial Court had dismissed the complaint. In appeal, at the behest of the complainant, the same was allowed and the accused were convicted for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the N.I. Act. In an appeal at the behest of the original accused, this Court while affirming the order of the High Court observed thus:

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