The legal heirs of someone deceased, convicted under Section 138, are neither liable to pay the fine or undergo imprisonment. However, they have a right to challenge the conviction of their predecessor.
Trial Court had acquitted the (now) deceased on basis of an opinion of a handwriting expert. High Court considered, the opinion was inconclusive. The legal heirs argued before Supreme Court, the acquittal should not have been set aside.
“Proceedings under Section 138 of the Act are quasi-criminal proceedings. The principles, which apply to acquittal in other criminal cases, cannot apply to these cases. The High Court, in our opinion, was right in holding the deceased guilty.”
– Hon’ble Justice Deepak Gupta, M. Abbas Haji v. T.N. Channakeshava, [Criminal Appeal No. 664 of 2012].