The Supreme Court allowed appeals reviving the complaints against respondent no.1 for trial holding that quashing should only occur when incontrovertible evidence is presented. The case involved a dispute over the liability of one of the respondents based on his claim of having retired from the partnership firm before the issuance of the cheques.

A two-judge Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Rajesh Bindal observed, “Powers under Section 482 of the Code can be exercised by the High Court in case when it comes across unimpeachable and incontrovertible evidence to indicate that the partner of the firm did not have any concern with the issuance of cheques. The case in hand is not of that kind.”

The Meghalaya High Court at Shillong quashed criminal complaints filed against respondents in relation to a case involving bounced cheques. The complainants (appellants) had alleged violations of the Negotiable Instruments Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code. The core issue revolved around the liability of one of the respondents (respondent no.1) who claimed to have resigned from the partnership firm before the issuance of the cheques.

Advocate Raghenth Basant appeared for the Appellants and Advocate Srishti Agnihotri appeared for the Respondents.

Appellants argued that respondent no.1's retirement from the firm wasn't officially known until 2022. Respondent no.1 claimed to have retired before issuing the cheques, supported by a 2018 retirement deed and a 2022 public notice.

The central issue revolved around whether respondent no.1's claim of retirement from the partnership firm before cheque issuance was valid.

The Supreme Court held that respondent no.1's plea for quashing based on the retirement deed wasn't sufficient at this stage. The retirement deed and notice were produced after complaints were filed, and the High Court shouldn't have relied on them without proper evidence. The Court emphasized that evidence would need to be presented before the trial court to determine the veracity of the retirement claim.

“In our opinion, the plea taken by the respondent no.1 seeking quashing of the summoning order and the complaints filed against him was not tenable, for the reason that, it would be a matter of evidence to be proved before the trial Court, as to whether any Retirement Deed was issued and a public notice concerning the same was issued, before the complaints were filed.”

As a result, the Court set aside the High Court's order, reviving the complaints against respondent no.1 for trial. Therefore, the appeals were allowed.

Cause Title: Riya Bawri Etc. v. Mark Alexander Davidson & Ors.