August 20, 2019

Under Section 148 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, deposit of 20% of the fine/compensation is compulsory: Kerala HC

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


Judge Mary Joseph of the High Court of Kerala held that under Section 148 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, (N.I. Act) deposit of 20% of the fine/compensation is compulsory.

The petitioner contended that he was directed to deposit a huge sum which was improper. The petitioner was aggrieved by the Sessions Court, Kerala as he was asked to deposit an amount with the Court invoking the power under Section 148 N.I. Act. According to the petitioner, the deposit contemplated is discretionary.

The High Court ruled that Section 148 empowers the appellate court to impose a minimum of 20%. The maximum amount liable to be imposed on the appellant, can go to any extent or in other words it can go upto the fine/compensation amount, imposed by the judgment appealed against, in the absence of a cap laid on the upper limit.

The Court further held that the imposition of payment contemplated under Section 148 N.I. Act cannot be restricted to some prosecutions and evaded in other prosecutions. Since the amount directed to be deposited being compensation, undoubtedly, it is liable to be ordered to be deposited irrespective of the nature of the prosecution.

Full View Judgement

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