The Kerala High Court dismissed an appeal against acquittal in a cheque bounce matter observing that there was insufficient evidence on record to prove the 'insufficiency of funds'.

The Court discussed the established legal position that if there are two possible views based on the evidence presented, and the Trial Court has taken a view favourable to the accused, the Appellate Court should not disturb it.

A Single Bench of Justice P.G. Ajithkumar remarked that the view taken by the trial court was not against the evidence placed on record and observed, "Except stating that the cheque was issued by...knowing that there was no sufficient funds with his account, no evidence in that regard has been adduced."

Advocate M.R. Sarin represented the appellant, while Sr. GP Pushpalatha MK appeared for the respondents.

A complaint was filed on the allegation that a cheque issued to discharge a debt was returned unpaid when it was presented for encashment. Despite a demand notice, the amount was not paid back, leading to the initiation of the prosecution. However, during the trial, the court found insufficient evidence to prove that the cheque was dishonoured due to insufficient funds.

The High Court did not interfere with the decision of the trial court and held, “the appellant failed to prove the fact that the cheque was dishonoured for want of sufficient funds with the account of the 1st respondent. Therefore, it cannot be said that the view taken by the trial court is against the evidence, much less it is perverse.

The Court remarked, “In an appeal against acquittal, powers of appellate Court are as wide as that of the Trial Court and it can review, re-appreciate and reconsider the entire evidence brought on record by the parties and can come to its own conclusion on fact as well as on law.”

However, the Court held that as long as the trial court's view is reasonably formed, regardless of whether the appellate court agrees with the same or not, the trial court's verdict cannot be interdicted. An appellate court cannot supplant the view of the trial court, and to this effect, the Court observed “It is well-established that if two views are possible on the basis of evidence on record and one favourable to the accused has been taken by the Trial Court, it ought not to be disturbed by the appellate Court.

The Court concluded that “the aforesaid decisions the findings of the trial court leading to the acquittal of the 1st respondent are not liable to be interfered with.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title: Sasidharan A. v. Vijayan Unnithan & Anr. (2024:KER:2177)

Click here to read/download the Judgment