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Even a blank cheque leaf, voluntarily signed and handed over by the accused, which is towards some payment, would attract presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, in the absence of any cogent evidence to show that the cheque was not issued in discharge of a debt. = the respondent-accused should have given or signed blank cheque to the appellantcomplainant, as claimed by the respondent-accused, shows that initially there was mutual trust and faith between them.- In the absence of any finding that the cheque in question was not signed by the respondent-accused or not voluntarily made over to the payee and in the absence of any evidence with regard to the circumstances in which a blank signed cheque had been given to the appellant-complainant, it may reasonably be presumed that the cheque was filled in by the appellant-complainant being the payee in the presence of the respondent-accused being the drawer, at his request and/or with his acquiescence.The subsequent filling in of an unfilled signed cheque is not an alteration. There was no change in the amount of the cheque, its date or the name of the payee. The High Court ought not to have acquitted the respondent-accused of the charge under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. In our considered opinion, the High Court patently erred in holding that the burden was on the appellant-complainant to prove that he had advanced the loan and the blank signed cheque was given to him in repayment of the same. The finding of the High Court that the case of the appellant-complainant became highly doubtful or not beyond reasonable doubt is patently erroneous for the reasons discussed above.
Hon’ble Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee 1 REPORTABLE THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.230-231 OF 2019 (@ SLP(CRL ) NOS. 9334-35 OF 2018) Bir Singh … …