Rohitbhai Jivanlal Patel vs State of Gujarat - Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019

Rohitbhai Jivanlal Patel vs State of Gujarat - Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019


On 15th March, 2019, in the case of Rohitbhai Jivanlal Patel v. State of Gujarat & Anr. [Criminal Appeal No.508 of 2019], while considering criminal cases pertaining to offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 for dishonour of cheques, allegedly drawn by accused-appellant in favour of the complainant-respondent no.2, the Supreme Court held that “existence of a legally enforceable debt is to be presumed in favour of the complainant” and “when such a presumption is drawn, the factors relating to the want of documentary evidence in the form of receipts or accounts or want of evidence as regards source of funds were not of relevant consideration while examining if the accused has been able to rebut the presumption or not.”


It was held that “in the scheme of the NI Act, mere creation of doubt is not sufficient.” On facts, noticing that “the Trial Court proceeded to pass the order of acquittal on the mere ground of ‘creation of doubt’”, the Supreme Court observed that “the Trial Court appears to have proceeded on a misplaced assumption that by mere denial or mere creation of doubt, the appellant had successfully rebutted the presumption as envisaged by Section 139 of the NI Act.”


The Supreme Court held that “the major considerations on which the Trial Court chose to proceed clearly show its fundamental error of approach where, even after drawing the presumption, it had proceeded as if the complainant was to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt. Such being the fundamental flaw on the part of the Trial Court, the High Court cannot be said to have acted illegally or having exceeded its jurisdiction in reversing the judgment of acquittal.”

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