C.C.Alavi Haji vs. Palapetty Muhammed & Another. (Supreme Court of India)
Section 27 of General Clauses Act, 1897 gives rise to a presumption that service of notice has been effected when it is sent to the correct address by registered post. In view of the said presumption, when stating that a notice has been sent by registered post to the address of the drawer, it is unnecessary to further aver in the complaint that in spite of the return of the notice unserved, it is deemed to have been served or that the addressee is deemed to have knowledge of the notice. Unless and until the contrary is proved by the addressee, service of notice is deemed to have been effected at the time at which the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of business. This Court has already held that when a notice is sent by registered post and is returned with a postal endorsement refused or not available in the house or house locked or shop closed or addressee not in station, due service has to be presumed. It is, therefore, manifest that in view of the presumption available under Section 27 of the Act, it is not necessary to aver in the complaint under Section 138 of the Act that service of notice was evaded by the accused or that the accused had a role to play in the return of the notice unserved .
also read Jagdish Singh Vs. Natthu Singh , State of M.P. Vs. Hiralal & Ors. and V.Raja Kumari Vs. P.Subbarama Naidu & Anr.
- Insofar as the question of disclosure of necessary particulars with regard to the issue of notice in terms of proviso (b) of Section 138 of the Act, in order to enable the Court to draw presumption or inference either under Section 27 of the G.C. Act or Section 114 of the Evidence Act, is concerned, there is no material difference between the two provisions. In our opinion, therefore, when the notice is sent by registered post by correctly addressing the drawer of the cheque , the mandatory requirement of issue of notice in terms of Clause (b) of proviso to Section 138 of the Act stands complied with. It is needless to emphasise that the complaint must contain basic facts regarding the mode and manner of the issuance of notice to the drawer of the cheque. It is well settled that at the time of taking cognizance of the complaint under Section 138 of the Act, the Court is required to be prima facie satisfied that a case under the said Section is made out and the aforenoted mandatory statutory procedural requirements have been complied with. It is then for the drawer to rebut the presumption about the service of notice and show that he had no knowledge that the notice was brought to his address or that the address mentioned on the cover was incorrect or that the letter was never tendered or that the report of the postman was incorrect. In our opinion, this interpretation of the provision would effectuate the object and purpose for which proviso to Section 138 was enacted, namely, to avoid unnecessary hardship to an honest drawer of a cheque and to provide him an opportunity to make amends.