Cheque bounce accused can be tried for fraud too: SC
For issuing a cheque without having sufficient funds in the bank account, a person can be tried for cheque bounce as well as cheating because the two trials do not breach the double jeopardy doctrine, the Supreme Court has ruled.delhi Updated: Apr 24, 2012 23:16 IST
For issuing a cheque without having sufficient funds in the bank account, a person can be tried for cheque bounce as well as cheating because the two trials do not breach the double jeopardy doctrine, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice JS Khehar gave the ruling, dismissing an appeal by Sangeetaben Mahendrabhai Patel, a resident of Gujarat, for quashing a case of cheating and breach of trust pending before Patan's chief judicial magistrate in the state.
Patel had come to the apex court, contending that as per the double jeopardy doctrine, she cannot be tried twice for the same offence.
Under the double jeopardy doctrine, enshrined under Article 22 of the Constitution and Section 300(1) of the CrPC, a person cannot be convicted twice for the same offence.
The apex court, however, dismissed her appeal, stating that the doctrine of double jeopardy “does not prevent the trial of any offence, but only precludes the evidence being led to prove a fact in issue as regards which evidence has already been led, and a specific finding has been recorded at an earlier criminal trial”.
“Thus, the rule relates only to the admissibility of the evidence, which is designed to upset a finding of fact recorded by a competent court in a previous trial on a factual issue,” the bench said, citing its earlier rulings.
The woman was convicted by a trial court under the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act for issuing a cheque of Rs. 20 lakh, which had bounced in 2003. The complainant had also lodged a police complaint on February 6, 2004, accusing the woman of criminal breach of trust and cheating.