Delhi HC Defendant may request conversion of summary proceedings to subpoena proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act after disclosure of the defense
The Delhi Supreme Court ruled that in proceedings relating to a criminal offense under Section 138 of the Tradable Instruments Act, the defendant has the right to request conversion of summary proceedings into summons only after his defense has been disclosed.
The bank made this observation in the case of Sumit Bhasin versus NCT State of Delhi and stated that the defendant could apply for conversion if he presented a defense.
Following this comment, the bank denied the application under Section 482 of the CrPC and instructed the petitioner to take the defense to the court in accordance with the procedure set out in the NI Act.
The court also found that the offenses listed in Section 138 of the NI Act are purely technical and have built in defensive measures that a defendant is entitled to take. In addition, the defendant has a duty to prove the defense, as provided in Section 106 of the Evidence Act of 1872.
The bank highlighted this aspect of the NI Act, stating that it was an important remedy for the defendants against the frivolous and annoying litigation initiated by the parties.