In this case, the Karnataka High court passed an order that the criminal revision petition shall not be entertained unless the fine amount is deposited by the appellant. Challenging the order, the appellant filed a petition before the Court.
DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
4th August 2021
Justice Vineet Saran
Justice Dinesh Maheswari
Appellant- R. Kalai Selvi
- The Supreme Court observed that a deposit of a fine amount cannot be made a condition precedent for hearing revision petition under Section 397 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
- In this case, the accused was convicted for the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act and was sentenced to a fine in the sum of Rs.6,00,000/- (six lakhs only) with a stipulation that, in the event of default in payment, the appellant would undergo for simple imprisonment for six months.
- The Trial Court directed an amount of Rs.5,90,000/- to be paid to the complainant as compensation in terms of Section 357 Cr.P.C and the balance amount was to be remitted to the State.
- The appeal was filed by the accused-appellant before the Appellate Court and the same was dismissed, maintaining the order of the Trial Court.
- Aggrieved by the decision, the appellant had approached the High Court by filing a criminal revision petition.
- The learned single judge of the High Court has taken note of the requirements of the order passed by the Trial Court and held that the criminal revision petition would not be entertained unless the fine amount is deposited by the appellant.
- Section 397 of the Cr.P.C – calling for records to exercise powers of revision.
- Section 401 of the Cr.P.C –High Court’s powers of revision.
- Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act- Dishonour of cheques for insufficiency of funds in the account.
- Whether the High Court could impose to deposit the fine amount as a condition precedent to entertain the criminal revision petition?
- The appellant submitted that the High Court was not justified in imposing a condition pre-deposit of the fine amount. In the contention, the respondent could not dispute the position that there are no such mandatory statutory requirements of pre-deposit for maintaining a revision petition.
- After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Hon’ble court held that the High Court could not have deposited a fine amount as a condition precedent to hear the revision petition.
- Given the explanation, the Court said that a revision petition is a matter entirely different and that would depend on the examination of the matter in terms of the requirements of revisional jurisdiction and in any case, the depositing of a fine amount could not have been the condition precedent for the appellant.
- The bench agreed with the appellant that the High Court was not justified in imposing a condition pre-deposit of the fine amount.
- Therefore, the Hon’ble Court had set aside the impugned order passed by the High Court and allowed the appeal.
The bench, while setting aside the order, suggested that the High Court may assign a reasonable priority to the revision petition and make an endeavour to take a final decision on the same expeditiously.
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