Couple get 6-months jail, slapped Rs. 56 lakh fine for bounced cheque
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An Indore-based couple was sentenced to six months of simple imprisonment by a magistrate court last week and imposed a fine of Rs. 56 lakh for dishonour of their cheque of Rs. 28 lakhs paid to a company from which they had taken supplies of 2,000 kgs of insecticide in 2016.

The court also issued a non-bailable warrant and conviction warrant against Mamta Bihani and Manish Bihani, proprietors of M/s Adimax Bioscience and M/s Abhay Trading Co. respectively.

“The accused are not present before this court at the time of pronouncement of judgment to apply for suspension of sentence during the period of appeal. Hence, it will be justified to give directions for issuing non-bailable warrant and conviction warrant against the accused,” Metropolitan Magistrate SD Kamat said in his judgment.

The complaint had been filed through the Assistant General Manager of M/s Heranba Industries, a Gujarat-based company with its office at Borivali in 2017.

The company had delivered a total of 2,000 kgs of an insecticide to Mamta Bihani at her address in Madhya Pradesh based on purchase orders placed with it by her in consultation with her husband. It had in July and August 2016 raised invoices for a total of about Rs. 28 lakhs.

A year later, she had given a cheque of the amount from the account of her husband’s company with his signature on it. The cheque came to be dishonoured with the remark ‘Funds Insufficient’ by a dishonour memo. A demand notice was sent to the couple on their various addresses but it returned back. Heranba Industries had then filed a complaint under Negotiable Instruments Act and alleged that the Bihani’s had deliberately failed and neglected to pay the due amount.

The court noted that the accused has not disputed his signature of the cheque. Their defence had been that they had given the cheque for security purposes and not due to liability.

Magistrate Kamat directed that the fine of Rs. 56 lakhs is to be paid towards compensation within two months of the order. In default, they are to suffer another six months of simple imprisonment.

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Free Press Journal