Man Mohan Singh Gujral, J.
1. Three separate cases were registered against Kishan Chand and Varinder Kumar Petitioners under Sections 120B. 419 and 420/120B of the Indian Penal Code and in these cases a prima facie case was found to have been made against the accused and they were accordingly charged in respect of these offences. The accused filed three separate revision petitions against this order of charge which was dismissed by three separate judgments of the Sessions Judge. Kapurthala, dated 2nd may 1970. Being aggrieved the accused have now filed three revision petitions being Nos. 481. 482. and 483 of 1970 challenging the order of the Sessions Judge in those cases. As the facts necessary to decide these petitions are common, all the three petitions will be disposed of by the present order.
2. Kasturba Sewa Mandir. Raipura. manufactures certain goods and sells the same through its units which have been set up at various places and one of these is District Kapurthala Gram Udyog Karva Karta Sangh, Phagwara. The allegation is that the two accused approached Satnam Singh in 1967 and placed an order for the supply of certain material and at that time it was represented by the accused that they were partners of Jullundur Nut Bolt Industries Qila Bazar, Jullundur City. When some goods were supplied the accused placed an order for more goods and at the suggestion of Satnam Singh they contacted Sushil Kumar. Vice-President-cum-Secretary, Kasturba Sewa Mandir. Raipura. on telephone. To cover the price of the goods supplied Varinder Kumar issued cheques in the name of the Trustee, District Kapurthala Gram Udyog Karya Karta Sangh. Phagwara, on different dates and when the cheques were returned for lack of funds inquiries were instituted. It then transpired that in fact no firm by the name of Jullundur Nut Bolt Industries existed in Qila Mohaila and that the accused had committed offences of cheating etc. by giving out about the existence of this firm with intent to cheat. A first information report was lodged by Satnam Singh and after investigation three separate cases were registered.
3. On behalf of the petitioners the main argument raised is that issuing of post dated cheques would not amount to cheating in law even if those cheques were dishonoured as it would only bring out that the accused could not arrange for the money which they had promised to pay through the postdated cheques.
4. In my opinion the above argument is without plausibility. It would depend on the totality of the circumstances brought out on the record whether the intention of the accused was to cheat or whether the cheques had been issued with the intention of making the payments but subsequently funds could not be raised. At this stage it is not possible to come to the conclusion that the circumstances which may ultimately be brought on the record would not suffice to raise the inference that the accused had the intention to cheat even when the cheques were issued. In this respect it may further be noticed that some of the cheques were dishonoured for lack of funds and some others were not cashed as the accused had stopped payment. The reasons which had impelled the accused to stop the payment would have to be examined by the Court when they are brought on the record in order to arrive at the conclusion that this had been done for a bona fide reason and not with the intent to cheat. At this stage it is not possible to hold that the trial Court had erred in framing the charges or finding that a prima facie case was made out. In taking this view I am influenced by the following observations of the Supreme Court in Mahadeo Prasad v. State of West Bengal : AIR1954SC724 :
Where the charge against the accused is under Section 420 in that he induced the complainant to part with his goods, on the understanding that the accused would pay for the same on delivery but did not pay, if the accused had at the time he promised to pay cash against delivery an intention to do so. the fact that he did not pay would not convert the transaction into one of cheating. But if on the other hand he had no intention whatsoever to pay but merely said that he would do so in order to induce the complainant to part with the goods then a case of cheating would be established.
5. On behalf of the petitioners reliance is placed on Laxmi Narain Kalra v. State of Uttar Pradesh : 1956CriLJ948 , wherein the following observations appear:
A whose tender was accepted, was required to deposit Rs. 4000/- by wav of security under the rules. Accordingly A delivered a cheque for Rs. 4000/- while in fact there was only Rs. 5/- to his credit in the bank. As the prescribed procedure required the deposit to be made only in cash or postal securities, the cheque was returned. On next day A's brother saw the officer concerned and stated that A was not in station and that he could cash the cheque. On this representation the cheque was sent for encashment but was dishonoured. A was thereupon tried and convicted under Section 420 I. P.C.
'Held' that the conviction under Section 420 could not be sustained. As the cheque could not be accepted under the rules, there was no question of dishonest intention in delivering the cheque. In fact there was no cheating till the cheaue was returned as unacceptable.
Further, in absence of any evidence to show that A had authorised his brother to act on his behalf. A could not be held responsible for the representation made by his brother.
From the facts stated in the above observations it would appear that the cheque could not be accepted under the rules and it was therefore, concluded that no question arose of dishonest intention in delivering the cheaue. No support is. therefore, available to the argument urged on behalf of the petitioners by the observations in the above case.
6. For the reasons stated above. I find that at this stage it is not possible to conclude that the facts ultimately brought on the record would not be- sufficient to bring the allegations within the ambit of Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case against the petitioners. I find no occasion to set aside the order framing the charge against them and consequently dismiss the three petitions.