High Court convicts investor for cheating chit fund firm

It is for the first time that the Madras High Court Bench has a convicted a woman investor for having cheated a chit fund company by issuing a cheque that went dishonoured.

In response to a criminal revision petition filed by the woman, Justice P.N. Prakash refused to interfere with the conviction imposed on her by a Judicial Magistrate court in Tiruchi in 2007 and subsequently confirmed by an Additional District Sessions Court in 2012.

However, the judge altered the sentence of rigorous imprisonment of six months to just a payment of fine of Rs. 5,000 if she deposits Rs. 1 lakh in the trial court within four months.

He made it clear that the sentence of six months of rigorous imprisonment, imposed by the trial court, would get resuscitated if the money was not deposited within the set forth time and the convict would have to undergo one more month of imprisonment if she failed to pay the fine.

The case: 

According to the complainant, Santhanalakshmi Chit Funds of Tiruchi, the convict was a member of a chit fund scheme floated by the company.

The company chose to prosecute her since a cheque issued by her for Rs.55,850 in 2004 was not honoured owing to insufficiency of funds in her bank account.

The prosecution launched under the Negotiable Instruments Act ended up in conviction.

Thereafter, an appeal filed by the woman was dismissed and hence the present revision petition.

Finding no merits in the revision too, Mr. Justice Prakash said the chit fund company would be entitled to Rs.1 lakh if the convict deposits it on time.

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