M/S Sri Krishna
Agencies Vs. State of A.P.& ANR  INSC 1927 (11 November 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1792 OF 2008 (
Arising out of SLP(Crl.) NO. 6878/2007) M/s Sri Krishna Agencies ..
Appellant(s) Versus State of A.P. & Anr. .. Respondent(s) ORDER Leave
This appeal is
directed against the judgment and order dated 24th September, 2007, passed by
the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Criminal Petition No. 4508 of 2007 quashing
the proceedings, being C.C. No. 982 of 2005, on the file of the IInd Additional
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad, under Section 138 of the Negotiable
Instruments Act, 1981 (for short the Act) in exercise of powers under Section
482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
As would appear from
the complaint, the same was filed on account of stop payment orders issued with
regard to three cheques of Rs. 5 lakhs each.
Before the High
Court, it was sought to be contended on behalf of respondent No. 2 that since
the appellant herein had already taken recourse to arbitration proceedings, the
..2/- Crl.A.1792 of 2008 dispute was obviously of a civil nature and the
criminal complaint could not be proceeded with. Accepting the statements made
on behalf of respondent No. 2, the High Court quashed the complaint as
Mr. Adhyaru, learned
senior counsel appearing in support of the appeal, submitted that the High
Court has apparently confused the issue relating to the continuance of the
arbitration proceedings as also the criminal proceedings, since when the
cheques were dishonoured, a separate liability arose in terms of Section 138 of
the Act, whereas the arbitration proceedings were under the agreement signed
between the parties. It was submitted by him that the commencement and the
continuance of the arbitration proceedings could in no way affect criminal
proceedings taken separately.
In support of his
submissions, Mr. Adhyaru, referred to the decision of this Court in Trisuns
Chemical Industry vs. Rajesh Agarwal and Ors., (1999) 8 SCC 686, where the same
question arose in relation to arbitration proceedings taken during the
continuance of a complaint filed under Sections 415 and 420 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure. In the said decision, it was held that merely because
arbitration ..3/- Crl.A.1792 of 2008 proceedings have been undertaken, the
criminal proceedings could not be thwarted.
On behalf of
respondent No. 2, the submissions which had been urged before the High Court,
were reiterated, which, however, appears to be unacceptable having regard to
the decision cited by Mr. Adhyaru. We are also of the view that there can be no
bar to the simultaneous continuance of a criminal proceeding and a civil proceeding
if the two arise from separate causes of action. The decision in Trisuns
Chemical Industry's case (supra) appears to squarely cover this case as well.
allow the appeal and set aside the order passed by the High Court and restore
the complaint before the learned IInd Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate,
Hyderabad to be proceeded with in accordance with law.
[ ALTAMAS KABIR ]
[ MARKANDEY KATJU ]