38.6c New Delhi, India, Saturday, June 22, 2024

Unless And Until Strong Evidence Is Produced, Presumption u/s 139 NI Act Can Not Be Rebutted: Supreme Court

By LawStreet News Network      26 February, 2020 09:02 PM      0 Comments
139NIAct Can Not Be Rebutted Supreme Court

While delivering one peculiar judgement on February 19, 2020, the honourable Supreme Court observed that the rebuttal of presumption available under Section 139 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881can only be done after producing strong evidence.

This came into light in the case of Shiv Kumar Alias Jawahar Saraf v. Ramavtar Agarwal.

After hearing the arguments in full length by the counsels of the both sides, the bench comprising of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Ashok Bhushan resonated with the view of the High Court that the rebuttal of presumptions cannot be taken at the stage of the court taking cognizance of the offence.

During the proceedings, the counsel of the accused, contested that the evidences didn’t provide enough audacity to legally enforce the debt and hence there was no case of taking the responsibility of the offence or noting the complaint. Although, the HC refused to deny the complaint, and observed that the court would have to look into the prima facie of the case made and see if the provisions are reached as laid down under Section 138 of the NI Act.

The court remarked: “The presumption available under Section 139 of NI Act has to be rebutted and that rebuttal can only be done after adducing evidence. This, by itself clearly reflects that the rebuttal presumption cannot be looked into at the stage of the Court taking cognizance of the offence and registering the case all that Court would have to see is whether there is a prima facie case made out meeting the conditions precedent as envisaged under Section 138 of NI Act, which in the instant case, in the opinion of this Court, the Respondent has in fact been able to establish and fulfill all such ingredients

As has been stated in the preceding paragraphs since there is a presumption to be drawn of there being debt or liability in part or in the whole of the drawer to the holder of the instrument, the Court below cannot be said to have faulted upon in taking cognizance and in registering the offence. Since it is a rebuttal presumption and all the contentions and averments made by the counsel for the Petitioner being his defence, it would be open for him to raise all these grounds at the stage of leading evidence including the defence of the existence of the legally enforceable debt or liability. However, there can be no doubt that at the time of filing of complaint there was always initial presumption which would be in favour of the complainant.”

On the basis of the above observation, the Court dismissed the appeal and observed:

We are in full agreement with the opinion of the High Court expressed in the above-noted paragraphs which has been referred by learned counsel for the appellant. It is well settled that the rebuttal can be made with reference to the evidence of the prosecution as well as of defence.”

The order was delivered by the bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K.M. Joseph on 19th February 2020.


Author – Devansh Dev

Share this article:

User Avatar

Leave a feedback about this


Trending Crime, Police And Law
Women, including housewife, approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh

Two women approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh, citing harassment for tweets based on news reports about his involvement in high-profile cases.

17 June, 2024 03:10 PM
Trending Judiciary
Courts this Week: Law Street Journal's Weekly Round-Up of SC & HCs [June 10 - June 15]

Get the latest updates from the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts ! Here’s a round up of the week's top legal stories in a quick, easy-to-read summary.

17 June, 2024 03:29 PM
Trending Business
Man sues Apple for £5 million, blaming company for divorce after wife discovers ‘deleted messages’ with sex workers

A UK man sues Apple for £5M, claiming their unclear policy on deleted messages led to his divorce after his wife found texts to sex workers on another device.

17 June, 2024 04:26 PM
Trending Crime, Police And Law
Ex-Karnataka CM Yediyurappa appears before CID for POCSO case probe, with protection of 'no arrest'

Ex-Karnataka CM Yediyurappa appears before CID for POCSO case probe, denies allegations, granted ‘no arrest’ protection. Next hearing: June 28.

17 June, 2024 04:46 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email