Citation: 2014 (2) SCALE 515
Rameshchandra Ambalal Joshi (Petitioner) had taken a loan of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lac only) from the respondent. The Petitioner issued a cheque dated 31st of December, 2005 towards repayment of the loan. The cheque presented for payment by the complainant on 30th of June, 2006 was dishonoured on the ground of insufficiency of funds on the same day. A registered notice dated 25th of July, 2006 was then sent by the complainant to which the Petitioner replied. The complainant then filed a Criminal Case alleging commission of offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’).
ISSUE: Whether the respondent had presented the cheque to the bank within six months of drawl.
- The counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the date of drawl of cheque is also included in the six months period under section 138 of the Act and hence, 30th June would be beyond the six months period as mentioned in the Act.
- The counsel for the respondent on the other hand argued that when such ambiguity arises, Section 9 of General Clauses Act is referred, which provides for exclusion of the first day and inclusion of the last.
HELD: It was held that the use of word ‘for’ in the Act provides for exclusion of the first day of drawl and inclusion of the last day before the lapse of 6 months. Hence, the cheque was presented within the time limit as mentioned in the Act.
This is a clear case under Section 9 of General Clauses which clearly states that for all purposes, the first day shall be excluded and the last day of completion of such act shall be included in the counting of days. Hence, the Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the petition and since the case was pending for long, the Magistrate of the Trial court was urged to conclude the case within six months of the date appellant next appears for the case.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: The period of six months provided in Section 138 (a) of the Act excludes the first day of drawl and includes the last day of the sixth month.
Author: Akshay Goel, HNLU, Raipur | Editor: Vivek Verma, NUJS, Kolkata | Image from here