Sunday 23 June 2024

Supreme Court: What factors Appellate court should consider while deciding application for grant of interim compensation U/S 143A of N I Act?


16. When the court deals with an application Under Section 143A of the N.I. Act, the Court will have to prima facie evaluate the merits of the case made out by the complainant and the merits of the defence pleaded by the Accused in the reply to the application Under Sub-section (1) of Section 143A. The presumption Under Section 139 of the N.I. Act, by itself, is no ground to direct the payment of interim compensation. The reason is that the presumption is rebuttable. The question of applying the presumption will arise at the trial. Only if the complainant makes out a prima facie case, a direction can be issued to pay interim compensation. At this stage, the fact that the Accused is in financial distress can also be a consideration. Even if the Court concludes that a case is made out for grant of interim compensation, the Court will have to apply its mind to the quantum of interim compensation to be granted. Even at this stage, the Court will have to consider various factors such as the nature of the transaction, the relationship, if any, between the Accused and the complainant and the paying capacity of the Accused. If the defence of the Accused is found to be prima facie a plausible defence, the Court may exercise discretion in refusing to grant interim compensation. We may note that the factors required to be considered, which we have set out above, are not exhaustive. There could be several other factors in the facts of a given case, such as, the pendency of a civil suit, etc. While deciding the prayer made Under Section 143A, the Court must record brief reasons indicating consideration of all the relevant factors.


Criminal Appeal No. 741 of 2024

Decided On: 15.03.2024

Rakesh Ranjan Shrivastava Vs. The State of Jharkhand and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan, JJ.

Author: Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, J.

Citation: MANU/SC/0204/2024,2024 SCC OnLine SC 309.

Read full Judgment here: Click here.

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