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Convict Can Pay Fine Directly To Complainant: Section 138 NI Act, Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court NI Act

The Kerala High Court has ruled that a convict in the Rajeswary vs State of Kerala case which is a cheque bounce case under Section 138 N.I Act can pay the fine amount directly to the complainant. And it is not necessary to pay the fine in court. 

In this case, while hearing the accuseds' Criminal Revision Petition, Justice Viju Abraham upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence of simple imprisonment to a fine of Rs.7,17,000/-. The accused was granted six months to remit the amount of the fine in the trial court.

Following that, the accused paid the entire amount of compensation/fine directly to the complainant, and the complainant issued a receipt acknowledging the payment. The said receipt was presented to the trial court, and the accused requested that the case be closed and the non-bailable warrant against him be recalled. 

However, the trial court dismissed the petition, stating that because the direction was to remit the amount of fine in the trial court and she had directly paid the amount to the complainant, the court was unable to accept the receipt of acknowledgement of money issued by the complainant.

In the instant case, the Court noted that there is "substantial compliance" with the order to pay a fine. The complainant has admitted the receipt of the entire fine amount.

The accused appealed this order to the High Court. The complainant also filed an affidavit stating that she had received the full amount of compensation and had issued a receipt. 

As a result, the Court directed the lower court to record the factum of settlement between the parties in the fine register, as if the fine was realised and paid to the complainant.

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