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Cheque bounce: Range forest officer gets one-year jail

A special magisterial court for cases related to the Negotiable Instruments Act has sentenced a Range Forest Officer (RFO) to one year’s imprisonment after one of his bank cheques of Rs 17 lakh was dishonoured due to insufficient fund.

Ahmedabad | July 9, 2010 2:45:53 am

A special magisterial court for cases related to the Negotiable Instruments Act has sentenced a Range Forest Officer (RFO) to one year’s imprisonment after one of his bank cheques of Rs 17 lakh was dishonoured due to insufficient fund.

The Ahmedabad court,in its recent order,also directed RFO Jayanti Patel to pay Rs 17 lakh as compensation to the complainant,identified as Somabhai Patel (75),within two months of the judgment. Failure to comply will result in another four months’ imprisonment,the court ordered.

As per the complainant,Jayanti,who was posted at Mansa in Gandhinagar district,had borrowed Rs 17 lakh from him in February 2004 for three months,saying he was facing a financial crunch. The RFO had given him a post-dated cheque (June 6,2004) as an assurance of repayment.

When Somabahi deposited the cheque in his account at Shahibaug on June 7 that year,it was dishonoured due to insufficient fund in Jayanti’s account.

Following this,Somabhai lodged a complaint in the special magisterial court after issuing a legal notice to Jayanti,which remained unanswered.

Convicting Jayanti,the court observed that dishonour of cheques is an economic offence and to take it lightly might send a wrong message to society.

Somabhai now seeks departmental action

Somabhai has,meanwhile,written to the state Forests and Environment Department to take departmental action against Jayanti for attending the court hearings while being on duty without applying for leave or apprising the authorities about the same. Somabhai has said that Jayanti’s conduct was in violation of the Service Conduct Rules.

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