Trial Court completely overlooked and failed to appreciate the statutory presumption drawn under Section 118 and Section 139. The point of law has been crystalized in Rohitbhai Jivanlal Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 18 SCC 106.
Trial Court ought to have presumed, the cheque was issued as consideration for a legally enforceable debt, once signatures were admitted. Trial Court fell in error when it called for explanation of circumstances of liability to pay. Such approach amounts to a patent error of law.
No doubt, the presumptions raised under Section 118 and Section 139 are rebuttable in nature. A probable defence must meet the standard of ‘preponderance of probability’ and not mere ‘possibility’.
It is useful to cite Bir Singh v. Mukesh Kumar, (2019) 4 SCC 197.
“Even a blank cheque leaf, voluntarily signed and handed over, which is towards some payment, would attract the presumption under Section 139, in the absence of any cogent evidence to show that the cheque was not issued in discharge of a debt.”
– Hon’ble Justice Surya Kant, M/s. Kalamani Tex v. P. Balasubramanian, [Criminal Appeal No. 123 of 2021].