Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Karnataka HC: Award passed in Lok Adalat in cheque dishonour case can be enforced through Criminal court

 During criminal proceedings under Section 138 of N.I. Act, if the accused were to dishonestly state that he was agreeable for reference to Lok-Adalat, in furtherance of which the matter is referred to Lok-Adalat and a compromise being arrived at on certain terms in a dishonest manner in that the accused even at the time knowing fully well that he would not adhere to the terms of the compromise and thereafter the accused not performing his obligation would take up the contention that only methodology available to the complaint is execution of compromise as a civil decree, thereby the accused would have successfully avoided a criminal prosecution, frustrated the complaint and left the complainant with no possibility or lesser possibility of recovering the monies due to him as he would had under Section 138 of N.I. Act.


 While encouraging settlement through Lok-Adalat, it is also required that the interest of the parties are protected and no one misuses or abuses the process Lok-Adalat to harass the other or take undue advantage over the other. The integrity and efficacy of the proceedings before the Lok-Adalat are therefore to be maintained.

Merely because the settlement was at before the Lok-Adalat, it cannot be contended that the criminal proceedings have been converted into civil proceedings revoking the right of the complainant to enforce his rights in terms of the applicable criminal law.

31. Answers to questions:
1. Depending on the terms of a compromise arrived at before the Lok-Adalat it can be enforced as a Civil decree or in terms of the applicable provisions of Cr.P.C, including that under Section 431 of Cr.P.C. if so provided in the compromise.
2. In the event of a default of a compromise arrived at before the Lok-Adalat High Court or the trial court can on application made by the complainant set aside the compromise arrived at before the Lok-Adalat, restore the complaint on its file and proceed with complaint or enforce the compromise as per the terms of compromise including by issue of FLW under Section 431 of the Cr.P.C.

Print Page

No comments:

Post a comment