Dilemma of jurisdiction under Negotiable Instruments Act written by Surya Sunilkumar student of Ramaiah institute of legal studies
M/S Himalaya Self Farming Group & Anr. Vs M/s Goyal Feed Suppliers
Determining the jurisdiction of the court is necessary to commence any legal proceedings. On 16.09.2020 the Bench lead by Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian gave a judgment regarding jurisdiction to try the offense if the cheque is delivered for collection through an account. This decree passed has enunciated about the conflicts regarding jurisdiction.
Facts of the case
A transfer of petition was filed by the petitioner under Sec 406 of criminal code of procedure seeking transfer of proceedings filed by the respondent under Sec 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act 1881. The transfer of petition was from the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Agra, Uttar Pradesh to the competent court at Siliguri, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Contentions of the petitioner
The counsel of the petitioner sought for transfer of the case on the following contentions:
• Under the delivery challan, all disputes between the parties are made subject to the jurisdiction of courts in Siliguri, West Bengal.
• The petitioners have already lodged a criminal complaint about the offenses committed by the respondent and during the pendency of the criminal complaint, the present proceedings have been initiated.
• When the respondent has its Head Office in Siliguri there was no reason to lodge a complaint at Agra except to harass the petitioners.
The Hon’ble court made certain observations regarding the contentions made by the petitions, thus gave a judgment as follows;
i. The first contention was dismissed stating that the petitioner could have raised the argument for a bar of jurisdiction of other courts before the Agra Court. It held that this argument cannot be a ground for seeking transfer of petition.
ii. The matter that the petitioner had already filed a criminal complaint against the respondent regarding the poor quality of feed supplied to the petitioner cannot be considered as a ground for transfer.
iii. The contention made by the petitioner regarding harassment by the respondent is unsustainable as the respondent can file a case the court within whose jurisdiction the branch of the bank where the payee maintains the account is situated, under Section 142(2)(a) of the Negotiable Instrument Act,
Thus the petition was disposed off by the court stating that the reasons given by the petitioner are unsustainable and cannot be a ground for seeking transfer from the Court of Agra Uttar Pradesh to the court of Siliguri, West Bengal.
The decision made by the Supreme Court of India had enunciated clearly regarding the jurisdiction of the courts regarding jurisdiction of cases under the Negotiable Instrument Act 1881. The applicability of Sec 142( 2) (a) is unambiguous thus the decision made by the Hon’ble Judge is justifiable and apt.