A district court slapped a fine of Rs 1 crore on two businessmen and awarded them a six-month jail term on Friday after their cheque of Rs 74 lakh to a school teacher bounced.
Surinder Kumar Bajaj and Pankaj Bhatia, business partners of M/s Gurgaon Spirits, borrowed Rs 74 lakh from Subhash Chand, a school teacher, for their liquor business. They promised to pay Chand in four instalments in April-May 2012.
A year later, on March 28, 2013, they gave Chand a cheque of Rs 74 lakh. But, Chand was unable to encash it.
Bajaj and Bhatia told judicial magistrate Meenakshi Yadav that they did not borrow any money from Chand and they were falsely implicated.
Chand’s counsel Harish Malhotra told the court that the cheque had the businessmen’s signatures.
He also said the complainant suffered harassment and mental agony after the Rs 74 lakh cheque bounced, forcing him to spend money and time on a legal suit against Bajaj and Bhatia.
The court observed that the cheque was issued from the account of M/s Gurgaon Spirits.
“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case that the cheque has been dishonoured, no mitigating circumstances have been made out in favour of the convicts. Therefore, both convicts are sentenced to simple imprisonment for a period of six months each for commission of offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act,” the order said.
Under Section 357 (3) of the Criminal Code Procedure (CrPC), the court ordered Bajaj and Bhatia to pay Rs 1 crore to Chand within 30 days as compensation for the harassment and expenses incurred towards litigation.
The court also said it would increase their jail term by three months if they failed to pay the compensation.
For the Rs 74 lakh borrowed, a separate civil suit will follow, the court said.