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CHEQUE BOUNS

when cheque was dishonored, a summery suit can be also fied for quick recovery – unless tenable grounds are there , no permission can be given to defend the case -Order XXXVII C.P.C. has been included in the Code of Civil Procedure in order to allow a person, who has a clear and undisputed claim in respect of any monetary dues, to recover the dues quickly by a summary procedure instead of taking the long route

Cheque sample for a fictional bank in Canada u...

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 REPORTABLE

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION(C) NO.25144 OF 2009

Ms. V.K. Enterprises ... Petitioner

 Vs.

M/s. Shiva Steels ... Respondent

 J U D G M E N T

ALTAMAS KABIR, J.

1. The short point involved in this Special Leave

Petition is whether the learned District and

Sessions Judge, Delhi, had rightly dismissed the

Petitioner's application under Order XXXVII Rule 3,

read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil
 2

Procedure (C.P.C.) for leave to defend the suit

filed by the Respondent under Order XXXVII for

recovery of Rs.6,68,513/-, together with interest

@18% per annum and pendente lite and future

interest.

2. On account of business transactions, the

Petitioner purchased iron sheets on credit from the

Respondent on account whereof a sum of

Rs.4,42,724/- became due and payable by the

Petitioner to the Respondent. The Petitioner

settled the accounts and acknowledged the liability

in respect of the said amount. Thereafter, the

Petitioner issued a cheque for a sum of

Rs.3,50,000/- dated 11th October, 2006, towards

part-payment of the said dues which, according to

the Respondent, was signed by one Pyare Lal, the

sole proprietor of the Petitioner-firm. On

presentation, the said cheque was dishonoured and a

legal notice was, therefore, sent by the Respondent
 3

to the Petitioner for payment of the outstanding

dues. Since, despite such notice the Petitioner

failed to pay the said dues, the Respondent filed

Suit No.57 of 2008 in the Court of District and

Sessions Judge, Delhi, under Order XXXVII Rules 1

and 2 C.P.C. The Petitioner entered appearance in

the Suit and filed an application under Order

XXXVII Rule 3 C.P.C., which was dismissed, as

mentioned hereinabove.

3. In the said application for leave to defend the

suit, the Petitioner contended that the cheque in

question had been handed over by the Petitioner to

the Respondent-firm by way of security only and not

for presentation. Furthermore, the said cheque was

issued by the Petitioner on 11th October, 2000, but

the date of the cheque was, thereafter,

interpolated and altered from 11.10.2000 to

11.10.2006, and presented to the Bank. It was also

indicated that apart from the signature on the face
 4

of the cheque and the date mentioned therein, the

rest of the cheque was blank and an attempt was

made by the Respondent to misuse the same with the

intention of withdrawing or misappropriating the

amount subsequently inserted in the cheque. A

specific allegation was also made to the effect

that the date of the cheque issued on behalf of the

Petitioner firm for the month of October was always

written with the Roman numerical `X', which was

altered and shown in ordinary numericals, which

clearly establish the fact that the cheque in

question had been doctored to obtain the benefit

thereof six years after the same had been issued.

4. In the said application, it was also denied

that any cheque of such a large amount had been

issued to the Respondent after 1992 in order to

bolster the case of the Petitioner that the cheque

in question had been forged. It was ultimately

stated in the complaint that the Respondent had
 5

concocted the story and the Bills placed on record

by the Respondent were also forged as the

Petitioner had neither purchased any material nor

counter-signed the last 4 bills as per the details

provided.

5. Before us, the same submissions were reiterated

and it was submitted that the learned trial court

had wrongly dismissed the Petitioner's application

for leave to defend the suit, although, several

triable issues had been raised. It was contended

that the denial with regard to the validity of the

cheque and receipt of goods, were triable issues,

which could be decided only upon appraisal of the

evidence adduced by the parties. It was also urged

that since the cheque was issued in 2000, the claim

of the Respondent was also barred by limitation.

It was submitted that not only had the learned

District and Sessions Judge committed an error in

rejecting the Petitioner's application under Order
 6

XXXVII Rule 3 C.P.C., but that the High Court had

also erred in affirming the said order.

6. On the other hand, it was the case of the

Respondent that the order of the High Court did not

call for interference having regard to the nature

of the disputes raised by the Petitioner before the

trial court. It was submitted that except for a

bare denial of the signatures on the ledger

accounts settled by the Petitioner and alleging

that the cheque issued had been forged, there is

nothing concrete in the Petitioner's application

under Order XXXVII Rules 1 and 2 read with Section

151 C.P.C. to indicate any triable issue. Even as

far the forgery alleged in respect of the cheque is

concerned, the hollowness of such an allegation

would be revealed from the cheque itself which does

not show any signs of interpolation in any part

thereof.
 7

7. On consideration of the submissions made on

behalf of the respective parties and on an

examination of the photocopy of the cheque itself,

it will be apparent that the allegations made in

the application filed by the Petitioner under Order

XXXVII Rule 3 C.P.C. were without any foundation.

As submitted on behalf of the Respondent, there is

no sign of any interpolation having been made on

the cheque and in particular, the date thereof

where the figure `10' in Roman numericals had not

even been inserted. There are no signs of attempt

to erase any of the writings or figures on the

cheque to support the allegations made on behalf of

the Petitioner.

8. Order XXXVII C.P.C. has been included in the

Code of Civil Procedure in order to allow a person,

who has a clear and undisputed claim in respect of

any monetary dues, to recover the dues quickly by a

summary procedure instead of taking the long route
 8

of a regular suit. The Courts have consistently

held that if the affidavit filed by the defendant

discloses a triable issue that is at least

plausible, leave should be granted, but when the

defence raised appears to be moonshine and sham,

unconditional leave to defend cannot be granted.

What is required to be examined for grant of leave

is whether the defence taken in the application

under Order XXXVII Rule 3 C.P.C. makes out a case,

which if established, would be a plausible defence

in a regular suit. In matters relating to dishonour

of cheques, the aforesaid principle becomes more

relevant as the cheques are issued normally for

liquidation of dues which are admitted. In the

instant case, the defence would have been plausible

had it not been for the fact that the allegations

relating to the interpolation of the cheque is

without substance and the ledger accounts relating

to the dues, clearly demonstrated that such dues
 9

had been settled between the parties. Moreover, the

issuance of the cheque had never been disputed on

behalf of the Petitioner whose case was that the

same had been given on account of security and not

for presentation, but an attempt had been made to

misuse the same by dishonest means.

9. Against such cogent evidence produced by the

plaintiff/respondent, there is only an oral denial

which is not supported by any corroborative

evidence from the side of the Petitioner. On the

other hand, the ledger book maintained by the

Respondent and settled by the Petitioner had been

produced on behalf of the Respondent in order to

prove the transactions in respect of which the

cheque in question had been issued by the

Petitioner.

10. In our view, the defence raised by the

Petitioner does not make out any triable issue and
 10

the High Court, has dealt with the matter correctly

and has justifiably rejected the Petitioner's

application under Order XXXVII Rule 3 C.P.C. and

the same does not call for interference by this

Court. The Special Leave Petition is, therefore,dismissed, but without any order as to costs. ................................................J.
 (ALTAMAS KABIR) ................................................J.
New Delhi (A.K. PATNAIK)
Dated: 04.08.2010
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