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Delhi HC- Accused can sought for conversion of summary trial to summons trial under Section 138 NI Act upon disclosure of defence

The Delhi High Court made an observation that in a trial for an offence under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, accused has the right to seek for the conversion of summary trial into summons trial only upon disclosing his defence.

The bench made this observation in the case of Sumit Bhasin v State of NCT of Delhi and stated that accused can make an application of conversion upon presentation of plea of defence.

Upon making this observation, the bench dismissed the application under Section 482 of CrPC and directed the petitioner to raise the defence before the trial court, in accordance with the procedure mentioned under NI Act.

The court also made an observation that the offences listed under Section 138 of NI Act are mere technical in nature and the defences which an accused is entitled to take, are inbuilt. Moreover, accused bears the onus of proving the defences, as provided under Section 106 of the Evidence Act, 1872.

The bench highlighted this aspect of NI Act and stated that it is an important remedy for the accused against the frivolous and vexatious litigations initiated by the parties.

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