The Bench of justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari on 4 August 2021 observed that a condition of depositing a fine amount to hear a criminal revision under section 397 and 401 C.R.P.C cannot be imposed on a convict. The Bench was hearing an appeal against an order passed by the High Court of Karnataka under criminal revision.

The Trial court convicted the appellant under section 138 of the N.I act and imposed a fine of Rs. 6,00,000 on the accused and imposed a condition that in case of non-payment of dues, she would have to undergo simple imprisonment of 6 months. Aggrieved by the said order of the trial court, she approached the High Court via an appeal. The High Court vide its order passed on 12 June 2020 dismissed the appeal. The accused-appellant approached the High Court via criminal revision petition no 515 0f 2020. The Single bench of the High court took note of the order passed by the trial court, particularly regarding that of fine, and observed that “Unless the fine amount is deposited by the petitioner herein, the petitioner is not entitled to press into service the hearing of this petition filed under section 397 and 401 C.R.P.C.

The bench observed that taking into account all the facts and circumstances of the case and the law in the picture, The High Court could not have deposited a fine amount as a condition precedent to hear the criminal revision. The Court finally set aside the order and passed by the High court on 15 January 2021 and granted the liberty to the parties to pursue the matter before the High Court.


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