New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Bollywood actor Rajpal Yadav was today awarded six-month imprisonment by a Delhi court in seven cheque bounce cases for not repaying loan worth over Rs eight crore to a businessman.
The court, however, did not award imprisonment to his wife, who was also held guilty along with Rajpal for the offence under section 138 (cheque bounce) of the Negotiable Instruments Act (NI Act), considering that she had signed those cheques on being asked by her actor husband.
However, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Amit Arora granted Rajpal bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of like amount.
The court also imposed separate fines on the convicted couple, asking Rajpal to pay Rs 11.2 crore and his wife Radha to pay Rs 70 lakh collectively in all the seven cases in which they have been held guilty.
“There are seven separate complaint cases filed by the complainant where in the convicts have been held guilty under section 138 of NI Act. Cheque in question in each case is of Rs 1.5 crore,” the court noted.
The court said the convicted couple had originally availed a loan of Rs five crore from the complainant – Murli Projects – in the year 2010 and agreed to repay a sum of Rs eight crore, including the principle and the interest by June 30, 2011.
The court, while rejecting the actor’s contention that he was liable to pay Rs eight crore, said he and his wife could not repay the amount and a fresh schedule of payment was worked out by them where they agreed to pay the subsequent interest which accrued over and above the principle amount and the initially agreed interest amount of Rs eight crore.
“It is in these circumstances, the convicts handed the impugned cheques to the complainant which all got dishonoured in 2013. Thus I do not find any merit in the contention of the defence counsel that the liability of the convict is only to the extent of Rs three crore,” the ACMM said.
The ACMM also noted that several undertakings were given by the actor and his wife before the Delhi High Court to repay the amount, but to no avail.
“Complainant has been litigating this matter for last five years. As per a high court order of 2016, settlement was agreed upon by both the parties by which Yadav had to pay Rs 10.40 crore to the complainant but the amount has still not been paid.
“Record reflects that convicts have made several undertakings before the high court claiming that the amount will be repaid, however, of no avail,” it said,
It also noted that another undertaking was given by the convicts before the high court regarding cheques worth Rs seven crore given by them to the complainant that they shall be honoured, but it never happened.
“Thus it shows that the approach of the convict number 2 (Rajpal Yadav) is highly contemptuous and he had acted in complete disregard to undertakings given by him.
“Thus in these circumstances, no leniency is called for and accordingly convict 2, Rajpal Yadav is hereby sentenced to simple imprisonment for a period of six months in each case,” the ACMM said.
Regarding his wife Radha Yadav, the court said she was only a signatory on the cheques and signed those cheques on being asked by her husband Rajpal Yadav. It also took into consideration that she was a woman.