Supreme Court: Concurrent sentencing will merit only if conviction arises out of single transaction
The petitioner had challenged the consecutive sentences ordered for 4 cases against her under the Negotiable Instruments Act
The Supreme Court has observed that only when the conviction in a cheque case arises out of a single transaction, a concurrent sentence would be merited.
Citing the VK Bansal vs State of Haryana (2013) 7 SCC 211 case, the bench comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Pankaj Mittal observed that the judgment, in that case, could not be relied on.
In the Special Leave Petition (SLP), the petitioner challenged the consecutive sentences ordered for the four cases against her, under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
Citing the VK Bansal case, it was contended that in the single transaction case, the court should have ordered concurrent running of sentences instead of consecutive sentences.
In the VK Bansal case, the court had observed, "Each loan transaction/financial arrangement was a separate and distinct transaction between the complainant and the borrowing company/appellant. If different cheques, which are subsequently dishonored on presentation, are issued by the borrowing company acting through the appellant, the same could be said to arise out of a single loan transaction. It justifies a direction for the concurrent running of the sentences awarded for the dishonor of the cheques relevant to each transaction. The substantive sentence awarded to the appellant in each case relevant to the transactions with each company, ought to run concurrently."
The Court noted that, in the present case, there were several transactions over a period pertaining to the supply of raw materials to the petitioner. For those, the cheques tendered towards payment were dishonored.
Thus, while dismissing the SLP, the bench held, "We have perused the ratio in the aforesaid judgment and find that only when the conviction arises out of a single transaction, the concurrent sentence would be merited. But in the present case, there were several transactions pertaining to the supply of raw materials to the petitioner. The cheques tendered towards the payment were dishonored. Accordingly, the petitioner can have no benefit out of the ratio in the VK Bansal (supra).”
Advocate Anand Padmanabhan R represented the petitioner.