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Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, January 05, 2013
A local court in Kashmir has sentenced a businesswoman to two months of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 7 lakh after a cheque she had issued in 2005 bounced.

The judgment, believed to be the first of its kind in Kashmir, came after seven years of trial before the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) in Srinagar.

On Friday, the Srinagar CJM Rajeev Gupta pronounced Nighat, 30, guilty - under the Negotiable Instruments Act - for issuing a cheque of Rs. 2,15,200 to Nazir Ahmad Khan on July 23, 2005, which bounced when the complainant tried to encash it.

The accused and the complainant were jointly running a guesthouse in Srinagar and, after running into losses, decided to part ways. Nighat issued a cheque of Rs. 2,15,200 to settle the accounts with Khan.

Of the total fine, the court directed that Rs. 6 lakh be paid as compensation to Khan and the rest be deposited in government treasury to pay for the litigation.

While the counsel of the woman refused to talk to Hindustan Times, Khan's advocate Ishtiyaq Khan said, "The court gave her ample opportunity for a compromise, but she hardly joined the proceedings of the case. Nevertheless, the CJM was kind enough to sentence her to only two months of imprisonment."