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Presumption under section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act includes a presumption that...

Presumption u/s 139 NI Act includes a presumption that there exists a legally enforceable debt or liability:


The Supreme Court reiterated that the presumption under Section 139 of Negotiable Instruments Act includes a presumption that there exists a legally enforceable debt or liability.


An appeal was made against the order of the Kerala High Court, in the case titled Jain P. Jose Vs. Santhosh in which the Supreme Court bench noted that the accused had accepted his signature on the subject cheque. We do not think that the High Court was right in holding that the onus was not on the accused to show that the debt was neither due nor payable.


Referring to the decision in T. Vasanthakumar Vs. Vijaykumari (2015) 8 SCC 378, the Supreme Court said: “This decision, refers to an earlier judgment of this Court in "Rangappa vs. Sri Mohan" (2010) 11 SCC 441, which elucidating on the presumption under Section 139 of the N.I. Act observes that this includes a presumption that there exists a legally enforceable debt or liability. However, the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is rebuttable and it is open to the accused to raise a defence wherein the existence of a legally enforceable debt or liability can be contested."


The Apex Court while allowing the appeal held that the complainant was entitled to the benefit of presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The Supreme Court also directed the High Court to consider the evidence and the material on record to decide whether the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is established and made out.

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