Vaman Rao, J
1. This petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (for short 'the Cr.P.C') seeks quashing of the proceedings in Crime No. 158 of 1999 registered at Patancheru Police Station, District Medak in which the petitioners/accused are accused of offence under Sections 409, 417 and 120-B read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (for short 'the I.P.C.'). It appears that respondent Nos. 3 to 5 have filed a private complaint in the Court of the learned Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate, Sangareddy which was referred to the police under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. for investigation which is now said to be pending. The crucial allegations as found in the complaint are as follows :-
2. The complainant, who is a dealer and supplier of raw materials for Pharmaceutical Industries supplied certain material to Accused No. 1 - Company in which accused Nos. 2 and 3 are said to be the Directors. It appears that these goods were supplied on credit some time in 1996. After the accused fell in arrears in respect of the bill relating to those goods, the Complainant approached the accused to make payment. On which thirteen cheques were issued towards payment of amount due by the accused to the complainant. However, at the request of the complainant these cheques were issued in favour of M/s. Sriram Investments Limited towards some money owed by the complainant to that Company. When the said Sriram Investments Limited presented those cheques for encashment, they were returned unrealised on the ground of instructions for 'stop payments'. It is on the basis of these allegations that the complainant seeks to prosecute the accused for the offences mentioned above. The learned counsel for the petitioners contends firstly that there is nothing in the complaint to indicate an offence under Section 409 of the I.P.C. This is on the ground that the accused cannot be said to have misappropriated the goods supplied to them by the complainant during the sale transactions between them. Admittedly the gods in question were sold by the complainant to the accused which means that the title in the property passed to the accused the moment the sale was completed. It may be pertinent to remember that passing of the title in movable property is not dependent on the payment of sale consideration and it is completed when an offer to purchase at a price is accepted by the buyer and the delivery of goods or payment of price or both may be postponed under the agreement as contemplated in Section 5 of Sale of Goods Act. Thus the question of commission of any offence under Section 409 or even under Section 406 of the I.P.C. in respect of goods sold in this case does not arise.
3. In regard to the offence of cheating the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that in this case there is no allegation that the complainant had delivered any property on the basis of any deception or any fraudulent inducement on the part of the accused. The contention is that inasmuch as the transaction between the complainant and the accused in respect of the goods supplied by the complainant is a normal sale transaction, the question of the complainant having delivered any goods on the basis of any deceptive or fraudulent inducement does not arise. At any rate the learned counsel for the petitioners says that there is no allegation that there was any such deceptive or fraudulent inducement at the time of the original sale transaction in respect of the goods in question. It is further contended that the ingredients in the second part of Section 415 of the I.P.C. are also not satisfied. The learned counsel for the respondents however, contends that inasmuch as the cheques issued by the accused have bounced there must be presumption of dishonest intention on the part of the accused and as such, it cannot be said that no offence as defined under Section 415 of the I.P.C. has been made out.
4. The question is whether ingredients of offence of cheating as defined under Section 415 of the I.P.C. have been satisfied in this case on the basis of the allegations made in this complaint. Section 415 of the I.P.C. reads as under :
Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do any thing which he would not door omit if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person any body, mind, reputation or proper, is said to 'cheat'.
Explanation :- A dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of this section.
5. Under the first part of Section 415 of the I.P.C. what is contemplated to constitute the offence of cheating is that the accused should have deceived the complainant and fraudulently or dishonestly induced him to deliver any property to any person. As noted above inasmuch as the delivery of goods sold by the complainant in favour of the accused is a normal sale transaction and in the absence of any specific allegation that at the time of the sale the accused made any specific representation which was found to be false and deceptive and that the accused on the basis of such false representation fraudulently induced the complainant to deliver the goods, the requirement of first part of Section 415 of the I.P.C. cannot be said to have been satisfied. Admittedly as seen from the allegations made in the complaint itself, it is a normal sale transaction in which the complainant supplied the goods to the accused on credit.
6. Under the second part of Section 415 of the I.P.C. it is necessary to show that by virtue of deceit practised by the accused and the fraudulent representation made by him, the accused has induced the complainant to do or omit to do any thing which he would not do or omit to do if he were not so deceived and which resulted in any harm. In this case as seen above cheques were issued long after the delivery of goods under the normal sale transaction towards clearing the bills in respect of the sale price of those goods. The mere fact that these post dated cheques were dishonoured does not lead to any interference that the accused has practised any deceit or made any false representation which induced the complainant to do or omit to do any thing as contemplated in Section 415 of the I.P.C. Thus the facts as narrated in the complaint relating to the sale of goods and the issue of cheques towards payment for sale of goods on credit and their ultimate dishonour do not make out ingredients of offence of cheating as defined under Section 415 of the I.P.C. In the case of P. Eswara Reddy v. State of A.P. 1986 Cri LJ 207, this Court under somewhat similar circumstances held that mere dishonour of post dated cheques issued for payment of goods purchased does not constitute an offence under Section 415 of the I.P.C. In view of this it has to be held that the allegations in the complaint do not make out an offence of either Section 409 or Section 417 of the I.P.C. Therefore, to prevent the abuse of process of law, the proceedings in Crime No. 158 of 1999 are quashed.
The Criminal Petition is accordingly allowed.